Do you groom your pubic hair daily or weekly? If so you are classed as a ‘high frequency’ groomer and new research has found you at a higher risk of catching an STI.
According to research published in the Sexually Transmitted Infections journal, ‘extreme groomers’ – those who groom up to 11 times per year – are also at risk of acquiring STIs.
It's not all bad though! Luckily, groomers are less likely to have pubic lice – always a silver lining, right?!
However, while extreme groomers are more likely to get frisky, this ultimately increases their chances of getting an STI.
“By contrast, low intensity/ frequency grooming was associated with a doubling in risk of a lice infestation, suggesting that grooming might make it harder for lice to breed successfully,” researchers said.
During the study, over 14,000 people, aged 18-65 answered questions about their grooming habits, focusing on the intensity, frequency, and tools used.
With 74% of the respondents saying they had groomed their pubic hair before, men opted for electric razors, while women favoured the manual razor.
Divulging their sexual habits as part of the study, 7470 participants said they had at least one sexual partner.
The researchers surmised that the link between STIs and grooming could be based on the theory that increased grooming could lead to higher levels of sexual activity, which may result in skin lesions. Thus allowing bacteria and viruses into the body.
Lead author Dr. E Charles Osterberg said, “Intensity and frequency of grooming also seemed to be linked to the magnitude of risk.”
“Among high frequency and extreme groomers, the practice was associated with a 3.5 to 4- fold heightened risk, particularly for infections that arise through skin on skin contact, such as herpes and HPV.”
However, the observational study has not proved that grooming causes STIs, so “no firm conclusions can be drawn about cause and effect”.
“The researchers were not able to determine the timing of grooming relative to acquisition of infection, or account for either safer sex practices, or indeed risky sexual behaviours.”
So, don't bin the razors just yet.