Waxing might be one of the most painful experiences in the world (besides giving up bread and wine when cleansing), but for some reason, we still do it. However, thanks to a new study, you might want to reconsider scheduling that Brazilian.
According to a new study published in the journal Sexually Transmitted Infections, those who are willingly waxing off their pubic hair are putting themselves at risk for STIs. Researchers from the University of California, San Francisco surveyed 7,580 U.S. adults in order to investigate the connection between grooming practices, sexual activity and STI history. In the end, they found that both men and women who removed their pubic hair were at a higher risk for STIs than those who opted to go au natural, with 14 percent of groomers reporting a lifetime history of STIs to non-groomers’ 8 percent.
Researchers also found that “extreme groomers” — AKA you loyal Brazilian waxers out there — were more likely to report having an STI than groomers who only waxed in certain places (18 percent versus 14 percent). Researchers believe that the reason is due to small skin tears left from shaving, trimming or waxing could easily lead to infection. They also discovered that regular groomers tend to be more sexually active, which means they’re more at risk for STIs in general.
So what’s the deal with the study’s subjects? Roughly 84 percent of women and 66 percent of men said that have waxed, shaved or trimmed their pubic hair at least once, while 17 percent of self-proclaimed groomers removed all of their pubic hair at least once a month, with 22 percent saying they groomed on a daily or weekly basis. However you choose to to present your genitals, just make sure you’re safe.