Vitality

Does Pubic Grooming Increase STI Risk?

First things first, removing your pubic hair does not increase your risk of contracting sexually transmitted infections (STIs). A recent study by the Ohio State University led by Jamie Luster, a former graduate student in public health at Ohio State, has just demonstrated that claim.

The research found no association between pubic hair grooming and testing positive for STIs, specifically gonorrhea and chlamydia.

The study analyzed the grooming habits of 214 women who also presented themselves for STI testing. The work revealed that shaving or waxing has no link at all with STIs, even among those who identified themselves as extreme groomers.

In an email to Cosmo, Luster said that there are a number of theories about why pubic hair grooming could likely build up the risk of chlamydia and gonorrhea.

She said that biologically, grooming can possibly cause micro-trauma in the skin’s barrier, thus allowing pathogens to easily enter the body more.

"However, this has not been confirmed or documented for chlamydia and gonorrhea specifically," Luster added.

In a report, Luster emphasized that her findings in this research is nonetheless unequivocal. Therefore, her study covering this area should be viewed as something that provides a better outlook of STI contraction and its prevention techniques.

Luster’s work only studied the connection between pubic hair grooming and chlamydia and gonorrhea. So, when it comes to contracting herpes or pubic lice, removing of pubic hair might still play a role.

According to Viselav Tonkovic-Capin, MD, who is board-certified in dermatology and dermatopathology, the risk for contracting herpes increases if you shave or wax your pubic hair, while your risk for contracting pubic lice decreases if you remove your pubic hair.

Sometimes, people don’t show active lesions or blisters so they are hardly aware that they have herpes. But still, they can actively pass it on or get it through skin-to-skin contact.

You can avoid getting herpes or lower your risk of contracting it while observing pubic grooming - just don’t have sexual intercourse for 24 hours after shaving or waxing your pubic hair.

Cleaning away all your pubic hair can actually reduce the chance of catching pubic lice on the other hand, said Dr. Tonkovic-Capin. In fact, removing the pubic hair has lessen the incidence of pubic lice tremendously.

shave Here are 7 of the best shaving creams on Amazon. Photo Courtesy of Pixabay

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