There is a common ritual among sexually active people,
We tend to shave or remove all the hair in an around the pubic area when looking forward or planning a sexual encounter, this habit has either come from the need to impress, or for some, what they see in porn movies
But does shaving the pubic hair have any downsides?
Before we answer that, let us ask the question?
What are the functions of the pubic hair?
The pubic hair starts to grow around puberty and is noticeably thicker and has more lush that the hair on the other parts of the body
However, one function is that it “It helps to fend off bacteria and unwanted pathogens from entering the vaginal area. This can help prevent you from getting yeast infections, vaginitis, and UTIs.
It can also act as a mechanical barrier to protect the more sensitive areas of the labia in women,
But asides from this function, there doesn’t seem to be much else that doctors can say that it does, so why is removing it so much of a hassle, why is it not good for you
First of all, you need to understand that during sex, there is an exchange of fluids that help to lubricate the movements associated with sex
You also know that most sexually transmitted infections are transmitted through bodily fluids, in this case, secreted from the vagina and the penis,
Let us look at the research:
“Researchers from the University of California, San Francisco, surveyed women and men about pubic hair grooming patterns and self-reported history of sexually transmitted infections. They divided pubic hair grooming/removal into categories and defined extreme grooming as removal of all pubic hair more than 11 times per year and high-frequency grooming as daily/weekly trimming. They also looked at STIs by groups, those that are transmitted via skin-to-skin contact (herpes, human papillomavirus, syphilis and molluscum contagiosum) and those that require secretions (gonorrhoea, chlamydia and HIV). To try to control for other factors they also looked at age and sex, frequency of sex, and the number of sex partners per year and over a lifetime.
The results indicate that 8% of non-groomers versus 14% of groomers reported a history of an STI. Extreme groomers were the most likely to report an STI, 18%. The association was the strongest for the skin-to-skin STIs and extreme groomers had the highest risk. Groomers also had a higher risk of the other STIs, but the association was not as strong.
What does all this mean? That there seems to be a link between shaving the pubic hair and getting infected with STIs.
When you shave too close to the skin, you can give yourself micro cuts and bruises, there is also the concern of irritation and ingrown hairs that may lead to microabrasions and micro cuts on the skin, this is probably how infections like herpes, human papillomavirus, and syphilis enter the body, these cuts, even when condoms are used.
However there is no proof for this and this is just speculation, however, there should be caution
What Should You Do?
- If you must shave, do not shave too close to the skin
- Allow your skin to heal properly before engaging in sexual contact with a new partner by allowing a few days
- Do not engage in sex with open pubic wounds
- Practice safe sex or abstain
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