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Here is what might happen when you trim or bikini wax

Kathleen Blanchard's picture
STD linked to public hair grooming

In not so good news, researchers have linked pubic hair grooming to higher risk of sexually transmitted disease.


But before you stop going for your reglar bikini wax or ignore your private part grooming, it's important to know the study doesn't mean you're doomed. In fact, the finding, published in the journal BMJ, provides no explanation as to why STD risk is linked to grooming pubic hair.

Extreme grooming might be worse

For their study researchers looked at STD incidence among 7,580 men and women throughout the country - those who practiced "extreme grooming" - meaning removal of public hair or trimming 11 or more times a year.

They found there was a 3 to 4 time higher risk of contracting either HPV, syphilis or herpes, compared to 'non-groomers'.

Even people who lightly trim were at twice the risk for the diseases, the research found. Any type of grooming was associated with an 80 percent higher STI. rate.

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Even though the scientists took into account frequency of sex, age and number of sexual partners, there was no investigation of safe-sex practices, which might have contributed to the finding.

The study isn't the first to link sexually transmitted infections to shaving, trimming and waxing.

A 2012 finding also highlighted higher incidence of viral infections among men and women who removed public hair.

If you prefer keeping your part trimmed 'down there' and want to continue, you probably can feel comfortable doing so, given there is no real evidence that lack of or trimmed pubic hair is causing the infection rates cited in the study. But - you should also know there is no good reason to have to groom other than personal preference. Just make sure you wax or shave responsibly, taking care not to cause injury.

Updated 12/10/2016