The Link Between Pubic Hair Removal And STIs

Illustration by Anna Sudit
Scientists have found strong evidence of a potential link between pubic hair grooming and a person's risk of contracting a sexually transmitted infection (STI). After interviewing more than 7,500 American adults about their intimate grooming habits, a study published in the Sexually Transmitted Infections journal found that people who remove their pubic hair are 80% more likely to have an STI than those who don't. The link between pubic hair grooming and STIs grew stronger when a person removed his or her pubic hair more regularly and more comprehensively, the study found. According to the BBC, scientists have put forward several theories for the link. It is believed that people who groom their pubic region using razors may cause tiny "microtears" which allow the bacteria and viruses which cause STIs to penetrate the skin. Meanwhile, people who remove their pubic hair are also likely to be younger and more sexually active, the study found. The study recommends that doctors advise people to groom their pubic hair less excessively and avoid having sex until their skin has healed completely, the BBC reports. Further helpful information about STIs is available through sexual health charity FPA or on the NHS website.

More from Sex & Relationships

R29 Original Series