New research has shed some light on our intimate grooming practises.
A study, carried out by researchers from The University of California and the University of Texas, found a connection between grooming and the prevalence of Sexually Transmitted Infections, like Herpes, as well as pubic lice.
Researchers surveyed approximately 7,500 Americans aged between 18 and 65, and found that ‘extreme groomers’ - those that shave their pubic hair completely more than 11 times in a year – had a higher rate of STIs than those who do not.
Before you forsake that razor forever, the research has a few caveats.
Firstly, while there is a link between higher rates of STIs and extreme grooming, there is no evidence of it being causational.
In other words, there is no proof that frequently shaving your pubic hair leads to STIs.
The research paper comes up with several reasons this connection may exist:
1. Nicking your skin might increase the risk of contracting STIs
The paper speculates:
Grooming may cause epidermal microtears, which may increase the risk of STIs, particularly cutaneous, viral STIs.
2. Sharing grooming equipment
Another possible explanation is that sharing your razor with another person can transmit STIs. Although, the study identifies that this happens in very rare cases, and is unlikely to contribute to the link between grooming and STIs.
3. Extreme groomers might engage in more risky sexual behaviour
This, in and of itself can increase the risk of contracting STIs.