You may want to keep some grass on the field.
If you like things down below as smooth as a baby’s bottom, you may want to rethink things. A new study done at the University of California—San Franciscoreports that people who regularly groom their pubic hair are 75% more likely to develop a sexually transmitted infection than non-groomers. As reported earlier this year, STIs are on the rise.
The survey, reported in the journal “Sexually Transmitted Infections,” included U.S. residents 18-65, asking their grooming habits, sexual behaviors, and STI history.
One of the reasons for the corellation between STIs and shaving? The act of shaving may create “epidermal microtears” that might allow transmission of bacteria or viruses like HPV.
“Our hypothesis is that grooming is positively related to STIs,” researchers wrote.
They’re not saying shaving directly causes infection, but instead leads to an increased risk of infection.
The study defined extreme grooming as removal of all pubic hair more than 11 times a year and high-frequency grooming as daily/weekly trimming; extreme groomers were found to be 28% more likely to report STIs than high frequency groomers.
“A better understanding of the relation between pubic hair grooming and STI risk,” the study says, “could lead to improved STI-reduction strategies.”
The study notes that an increase in grooming can simply indicate an increase in sexual partners — which increases the possibility of sexually transmitted infections — as it can be a preparation activity.
But it’s not all bad news for committed groomers. According to the study, removing pubic hair does eliminate certain other sexually transmitted problems, like pubic lice.
Other fun facts from the study: Men use electric razors more than women, a similar percentage of men and women use scissors, and laser hair removal or use of tweezers was rare among both.