‘Extreme’ personal grooming isn’t linked to increased risk of STIs

A study published Wednesday found that women who practiced “extreme” grooming habits, shaving all or most of their pubic hair on a regular basis, are not at higher risk of contracting certain sexually transmitted infections, contradicting past research.

The study, published in the journal Plos One, found no correlation between pubic hair grooming and chlamydia or gonorrhea risk. Past studies, however, have found a link between grooming habits and higher rates of STIs.

The new findings come as STI rates in the U.S. continue to rise. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, STI rates have been increasing since 2013, with half of all diagnoses from 2013 to 2017 occurring in people ages 15 to 24. The most common STI, chlamydia, had 1.7 million reported cases in 2017; 45 percent of those cases occurred in women in this age group.