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Grooming 'down there' means you're 75% more likely to get an STI

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A study has found women and men who regularly shave or trim their pubic hair run a greater risk of contracting Sexually Transmitted Infections (STIs).

The University of California, San Francisco, surveyed 7,580 people, aged 18 to 65, 74% of whom admitted to grooming their pubic hair (66% of men and 84% of women).

The study found that people who groom are 75% more likely to get an STI due to small tears created by shaving that allow bacteria or viruses to spread easily. 

People who had ‘extreme’ habits – removing all hair at least once a month – were three to four times more likely to contract STIs such as HPV and herpes. On the other hand, grooming removes the risk of other STIs, such as pubic lice.

Women were commonly found to use a manual razor whereas men used an electric one, with about one in five of both sexes using scissors. Doctors have advised people to cut back on grooming or delay having sex until the skin has healed but that the best way to avoid STIs is to practice safe sex.

Another connection found in the study was that the majority of people who completely removed their pubic hair were usually more sexually active than non-groomers, indicating that unsafe sex could be the link to rising STIs numbers, rather than the shaving preferences.

For a lot of young adults nowadays being bare ‘down there’ is seen as normal. A report last year from Indiana University in which over 2,000 women were surveyed said that two-thirds had completely or partially removed their pubic hair over the past month.

With grooming becoming more popular amongst men and women this new information is crucial in the fight against the rise in STIs.

For more information on STIs go to: http://www.fpa.org.uk/help-and-advice/sexually-transmitted-infections-stis-help 

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