Whether you landscape like a lawn-cutting pro or prefer to keep things au naturel, a new study suggests that the latter may be better for your sexual health. The study revealed that the likelihood of contracting a sexually transmitted infection like herpes or HPV is higher for people who shave than those who do not remove their hair down there. Yikes!
To complete the study, a total of 7,580 US residents age 18-65 were surveyed about their grooming habits, sexual behaviors, and STI history. Grooming practices could range from "extreme" (removing all traces of pubic hair more than 11 times a year) to "high-frequency" (daily or weekly upkeep). Those who reported more extreme grooming habits were 28 percent more likely to report STIs than those who noted high frequency.
Though the study proved a link between pubic grooming and STIs, it was ultimately inconclusive about exactly why these two are so closely connected. If you can recall your high school statistics lesson, you'll remember that correlation doesn't necessarily imply causation. So the study's results don't prove that shaving or waxing your pubic hair will certainly increase your risk of contracting an STI. It's possible that there's also a connection at play between the sexual lifestyle of those who tend to shave and their likelihood of contracting these types of infections.
The study examined different methods of hair removal, from waxing and shaving to lasers and electric razors, with the authors noting that shaving was the most risky due to minor cuts that may happen while grooming things downstairs. For those who prefer to keep their nether region smooth as a baby's bottom, it may be time to start changing your ways, or at least cutting back on the frequency.