The Shocking Connection Between STIs And Pubic Hair

When it comes to removing your pubic hair you’re either like this girl:

Or this one:

A new survey of more than 14,000 Americans aged 18-65 reports that those with no pubic hair have an 80% chance higher than non-groomers of getting sexually-transmitted infections. You’re considered to be in that category if you shave, wax or even trim. But on a positive note, you are less likely to get lice.

The statistics from this study are extremely alarming based on the fact that links between those with STIs and those who frequently shave have drastically increased over the past few years. “Our hypothesis is that grooming is positively related to STIs,” researchers wrote. They hope this study could lead to improved STI-reduction strategies, and after reading the stats, you’ll agree.

Here are the most shocking revelations from this study, and things you need to keep in mind before your future sexual encounters:

Who Removes

The participants in this survey answered a questionnaire on their intimate hair-control, sex lives, and STI history. 74% were pubic hair groomers, 66% of those were men and 84% were women.

Hair Removal and Consistency

The trial participants were divided into four groups: Extreme groomers (who removed all pubic hair more than 11 times a year), high-frequency groomers (who trimmed daily or weekly), low-frequency groomers (those who very rarely remove hair), and non-groomers. 45% of men used an electric razor to shave, and 61% of women used a manual one (because who would trust an electric razor in that sensitive of an area?). Another fun fact: people also tweeze their genital hair… OUCH.

Extreme and High-Frequency Groomers

17% of people were considered “Extreme Groomers”, while 11% “high-frequency”. With that being said, a majority of participants under the age of 35 dominated those two categories. Extreme groomers were found to be 28% more likely to report STIs than high-frequency groomers. What that means for millennials is that we are at a higher risk of sleeping with someone in that same category, especially if you identify yourselves as one, too. Because let’s be honest, not many leave their forest growing freely.

Low-Frequency Groomers and Multiple Partners

The study found groomers were younger and claimed they had more sexual partners than extreme groomers. They also had more frequent daily and weekly sex than non-groomers. 14% of groomers reported having an STI during their life, while those who went au-naturale were at 8%.

Waxing

The popularity of the Brazilian wax has increased dramatically over the past few years. And while you’re butt might be clenched at the thought, most salon’s across the US report to have at least 20 Brazilian waxes a day. With that being said, not having hair in that region either also can lead to a recipe for disaster, as not only the risk for STIs increase but so does hygienic infections.

Why Is It So Risky To Be Hairless?

The less hair you have in your nether regions the more risk you have at contracting an STI. The removal process of the hair can cause micro tears in the skin allowing easy access for the infection to spread through, particularly while shaving or waxing. Leaving a little bit of hair can help be more preventative.

So What Does This Mean?

As if this isn’t already common knowledge, the more people you sleep with enhances your chances of contracting an STI, so if you are very sexually active and as smooth as a baby’s bottom, be cautious. They’re not saying shaving directly causes infection but leads to an increased risk.

And now that you’re probably rattled by of all of what you just read, you can thank the University of California – San Francisco, who conducted the study.

Researchers warn that if you notice someone is clean shaven everywhere to take caution and be sure to go into detail about their sexual history for your own safety (which you should do regardless). Dr. E. Charles Osterberg’s biggest suggestion for those who want to continue to be nude, “wait at least a few days after a wax or major shave to let your skin heal and close any possible tears.”

He didn’t fail to mention that manscaping and ladyscaping have become a common trend in recent years that people often refer to as a form of cleanliness in one’s appearance, anticipated sexual activity, and apparently for women in fear of being compared to another. Basically because…

Obviously, it’s your body so you can do whatever you’d like with it, but at least this information can help the rising numbers of STI cases come back down. The next step will be to conduct a national study with medically confirmed STI diagnoses that can confirm the findings in this study. Who knew people were so passionate about making their pubic hair public?

Feature image via WeHeartIt

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