No pubic hair? More risk of having an STI

Posted on . In Health


The most common infections amongst adults are Sexually Transmitted Infections (STIs). By grooming pubic hair it seems there is 80 percent more risk of having an STI than when you have a full bush of hair. This is the conclusion of a survey, conducted by researchers from the University of California.

The researchers conducted a probability survey of 7.580 US residents aged 18–65 years. The survey ascertained self-reported pubic hair grooming practices, sexual behaviors and STI history. They defined extreme grooming when the removal of all pubic hair happens more than 11 times per year and a daily/weekly trimming as a high-frequency grooming. 

Their findings

  • The people with ‘extreme’ shaving habits already have a three to four times higher risk to get an STI, especially a skin-to-skin contracted infection like herpes or Human Papilloma Virus (HPV).
  • 74% reported grooming their pubic hair, 66% of men and 84% of women.
  • More than 20 percent of the groomers defined their habits as ‘high-frequency’ grooming.
  • 17 percent were described as ‘extreme’ groomers.
  • 13 percent admitted to have at least one STI.
  • Among a representative sample of US residents, pubic hair grooming was positively related to self-reported STI history. There is need of further research to gain insight into STI risk-reduction strategies.
  • There seemed to be no difference in the way of shaving: electric or manual.

There is however one big advantage about having no pubic hair: you are better protected against pubic lice. They love hairy surroundings. Also for some people 'no hair' looks and feels cleaner.

Why is there more risk?

Shaving, waxing and trimming can leave small micro tears and little cuts in the skin, which make for fertile grounds for diseases. 
Also people who shave their private parts seemed to be more sexually active than the non-shavers.

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