Health & Fitness

Don’t freak out but shaving your bush means you have a higher risk of contracting an STI

Puts down the razor and steps away.

By Natasha Harding
shaving risk

Whether you prefer to keep your bush tamer than topiary or like to wait to see how long you can grow it – you’re going to want to read this.

A recent study, published in the Sexually Transmitted Infections journal found that people who shave, wax or trim hair are at a higher risk of contracting an STI.

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“In this study, we demonstrate that pubic hair grooming linked to heightened sexually transmitted infection (STI) risk,” lead author Dr E. Charles Osterberg told

The research conducted on thousands of participants found that ‘groomers’ had an 80 percent higher STI risk than those who leave them hairy.

“In particular, this association is strongest among those who groom their pubic hair frequently and/or remove all of their pubic hair often,” the study says.

One simple explanation posed was that people who are more sexually active are more likely to groom their nether regions on the reg, leading to a kind of chicken-and-egg type sitch but that doesn’t help anyone so here’s the other, more haunting, explanation.

Researchers suggests that shaving and waxing can cause ‘microtears’ in the skin, increasing the chances of virus transmission.

Side note: can we all just take acknowledge just how frekkin’ horrendous the concept of pubic microtears is?!

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To decrease your risk, researchers discourage sharing razors etc (for obvs reasons) and cutting down on how often you give your pubes the old trimmeroo.

The silver lining? If you’re a groomer then your chances of contracting nether-region lice is much lower.

And, like that, we've decided to go au naturale for a while.