Pubic hair grooming is currently trending on Facebook because a new study suggests people may want to think twice about grooming below the belt so often.
A new study published in a journal called Sexually Transmitted Infections has revealed those who partake in regular pubic hair grooming are at a higher risk of developing sexually transmitted infections (STIs) than someone who does not.
This new study surveyed 7,580 adults across the United States and asked questions about their grooming habits, their sexual histories, and their medical histories. The study discovered that adults who practiced “extreme grooming” – which included removing all their pubic hair at least 11 times a year or adults who were “high frequency” groomers (meaning they groomed their pubic hair daily or weekly) – were anywhere from 3.5 to four times more likely to develop herpes, HPV, syphilis, and other STIs when compared to someone who never groomed their pubic hair.
Does this mean if you are someone who tends to grow out your pubic hair for a few months of the year you have nothing to worry about? Not exactly. The same study also revealed individuals who practice “non-extreme” or “low-frequency” pubic hair grooming – which means you’ve groomed your pubic hairs between one and 10 times a year – double their risk of developing a lice infestation when compared to someone who never partakes in pubic hair grooming.
After the researchers were able to control the age of the adults participating in the study and the number of sexual partners they had, it was revealed the adults who partake in pubic hair grooming (at any frequency) are 80 percent more likely to develop an STI than someone who never grooms their pubic hair.
The question is – why exactly does pubic hair grooming increase your risk of developing an STI?
According to the Huffington Post, scientists are not really sure why a link was made between the development of STIs and pubic hair grooming. For this study, there is no way of knowing whether the adults contracted an STI before or after they started grooming their pubic hair. The study also never asked the participants questions about what – if any – safety measures they took when engaging in sexual acts.
Some are speculating individuals who feel the need to spend time grooming their pubic hairs do so because they are more sexually active and have more sexual partners than someone who does not spend time grooming their pubic hair. With this speculation, it is possible the increased risk of STI development is simply because the individuals are more sexually active. It may not have anything to do with pubic hair grooming. It could simply be a coincidence that these individuals liked to groom themselves beforehand.
It is also possible being diagnosed with an STI causes a person to start grooming their pubic hair more thoroughly than they had been before they developed the STI.
Another possibility that makes sense is that after grooming pubic hairs an individual could have small cuts on the skin. Removing the hair and leaving small nicks behind could simply make the person more susceptible to STIs – even if protection is used.
At this time, more research is necessary to determine whether or not this is a link or a coincidence. An additional survey with more specific questions about safe sex practices and whether or not these individuals started grooming before or after they become sexually active would need to be conducted to get more concrete results.
Do you think grooming pubic hairs really could increase your risk of developing an STI? Share your thoughts on this health study with us in the comments section below.
[Featured Image by Olga Max/Shutterstock]