Wednesday, December 07, 2016

To shave or not to shave - STIs or lice?

Well, this is interesting, I guess. It turns out, shaving your pubic areas increases your chances of contracting a sexually transmitted infection (STI) by up to 400%!
An American study published recently in the Journal of Sexually Transmitted Infections - yes, there is such a thing, I kid you not! - shows that what they call "extreme groomers" (those who shave their privates completely at least once a month) were up to 4 times more likely than others to become infected with STIs such as herpes or HPV.
Among the possible causes listed are that constant waxing may cause miniscule tears in the skin allowing for the easier transmission of diseases, the sharing of shaving implements (less likely), and the rather stark suggestion that people with shaved pubic areas just have more sex (presumably, either as a cause or effect of the grooming).
Pubic shaving is hugely popular these days, as even a cursory glance at online porn confirms. The study concluded that about 75% of respondents (84% of women and 66% of men) had groomed their pubic hair at some point. 17% described themselves as "extreme groomers" (removing all hair at least once a month), and 22% as "high frequency groomers" (trimming daily or weekly). This was mainly done for "hygiene reasons", but also sometimes at the request of a partner, or just to "feel sexier".
On the other hand, the study points out, shaving does have the positive effect of reducing the incidence of pubic lice. So that is the choice, then - lice or STIs? Can't we just make sure we wash well and regularly?

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