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You could be at greater risk of STIs if you shave off your pubic hair

Two thirds of men trim, shave or wax their bits according to new research

greater risk of STIs if you shave off your pubic hair
Doctors advise waiting for the skin to heal after shaving before having sex

Some people like to have pubic hair removed and completely smooth, but doctors are warning if you do that you could be at greater risk of STIs.

Small tears in the skin from shaving or even trimming could make it easier for infections, according to new research.

The findings, from a survey of more than 7,500 men and women, also found public hair trimmers were more likely to engage in ‘risky’ sexual behavior.

Researchers from the University of California, San Francisco, found any type of grooming was linked to an increased risk of having a sexually transmitted infection. The more frequent and excessive the grooming, the greater the risk.

Those who completely shaved off their public hair were three to four times more likely to contract a STI, particularly herpes and HPV.

Doctors advised to let the skin heal before having sex if you remove your pubic hair, or to remove it less frequently.

Other pubic hair grooming facts:

  • Men were more likely to use an electric razor, while women used a manual razor
  • One in five men and women used scissors
  • Three quarters had groomed their pubic hair, with 84% of women and 66% of men saying they had trimmed, shaved or waxed in the past
  • 17% removed all hair at least once a month
  • 22% said they trimmed at a ‘high frequency’, trimming daily or weekly

However, those who did trim or shave were far more likely to be protected against pubic lice. So that’s something.

 

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