A surprising new study suggests that a common hygiene activity we engage in may actual be increase our risk for venereal diseases.
It’s something that a large amount of people do, sometimes daily, in order to remain well-groomed “down there,” but it may be putting them at risk for getting a sexually transmitted disease. A new study claims that bikini waxing may put people at risk of contracting a venereal disease.
Brazilian bikini waxing and other similar forms of grooming, if done frequently, can raise your risk of STDs by three to four times.
“Grooming is linked to a heightened self-reported sexually transmitted disease risk, and for those who groom frequently or remove all of their hair often, the association is even higher,” lead researcher Dr. Charles Osterberg said according to a CBS News report.
The study wasn’t able to demonstrate a cause and effect relationship between STDs and grooming of pubic regions, only showing a link. But it’s an important finding as the practice of pubic hair grooming and removal has grown in popularity worldwide among both menand women.
Osterberg and colleagues examined the grooming practices 7,580 U.S. residents who were between the ages of 18 and 65, and also asked them about their sexual behavior and history of STDs. A whopping 74 percent of participants said they had groomed their pubic hair before, with women more likely to do so than men by a margin of 84 to 66 percent. A total of 17 percent of them were classified as extreme in that they removed all pubic hair more than 11 times each year, whereas 22 percent were called high-frequency groomers because they at least trim their hair daily or weekly.
The “extreme” groomers had four times the risk of getting an STD, whicl high-frequency groomers weren’t far behind, showing a 3.5-fold increased risk.
Why is this the case? Researchers think that tiny cuts and skin tears that come from grooming may increase the spread of infectious diseases. Of course, it’s also possible that people who groom more simply are likely to have more sex than those who don’t.
Groomers are also usually younger and more sexually active, and more likely to have had more sexual partners than those who don’t bother to groom. Extreme groomers had the most sexual partners.
Even so, those who reported having groomed at least one still had an 80 percent increased risk of sexually transmitted diseases, and that applied no matter the person’s age or number of sexual partners.