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Video: Pubic Hair Removal Is Not Associated With Sexually Transmitted Diseases
Pubic hair removal is not associated with sexually transmitted diseases
The results of a study conducted by American scientists refuted the common myth that complete removal of pubic hair increases the risk of sexually transmitted infections.
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Frequent removal of pubic hair - all or most - is believed to increase the likelihood of contracting chlamydia or gonorrhea. According to some previous research, groin hair removal has been linked to sexually transmitted infections (STIs).
However, laboratory-confirmed diagnoses of chlamydia and gonorrhea have nothing to do with groin care practice, new research led by Ohio State University researchers published in PLoS ONE has shown. It is possible that the transmission of infection is facilitated by damage to the skin, or it is simply that these people have more sex and change partners, and therefore are more prone to STIs.
“It is important to examine the factors that potentially increase a person's risk of STIs because by understanding the problem we can eliminate those factors and reduce the health burden of these infections,” said study lead author Jamie Luster.
Risk factors include a high number of sexual partners, high frequency of sex, forced sex, incarceration, low socioeconomic status, and identification as a racial, ethnic, or sexual minority, the team noted.
The study involved 214 college students who answered questions about themselves, groin grooming habits and sexual activity. Test results for STIs were also obtained.
Almost all of the participants (98%) reported that they had some kind of pubic hair care. Of these, "extreme grooming" (removing all pubic hair during the past year at least weekly or more than six times in the last month) was practiced by 54% during the past year and 18% last month. About 83% used a non-electric razor, and almost two-thirds were injured when removing hair.
Almost 10% of women tested positive for STIs (gonorrhea or chlamydia). When considering frequency of sex, family income, and other factors, extreme care during the past year or the past month was not associated with an STI risk.
Scientists recommend that their colleagues use information on laboratory-confirmed infections in future research rather than relying on self-reports.
“Enjoy yourself, but always practice safe sex. Take care of yourself the way you like. Make sure you don't have fresh cuts or wounds when you have sex,”advised women Dr. Benjamin Breyer of the University of California, San Francisco, who was not involved in the study.