Does Shaving Pubic Hair Increase the Risk of STIs?
So, let’s spill the V… wondering about whether shaving can increase the risk of STIs is totally valid. And the answer is… yes and no.
Some studies have determined that removing your pubic hair increases the risk of getting STIs, however, there are also contradictory studies suggesting that hair removal is only associated with STIs. Meaning there exist more factors playing a role (overlapping behaviors), so there’s no really direct correlation. To sum up, if you shave you run the risk to get infected easily. But it can also mean you’re sexually active and therefore, are at risk of infection.
But why shaving?
When you shave your pubic hair you can cause micro tears or cuts in the skin which opens up the bumps and these become entry points for viruses and bacteria. And as you may know, there are some STIs, such as Human papillomavirus (HPV), herpes, and syphilis, that can be transmitted through skin-to-skin contacts.
Therefore, by removing your hair, you are sort of removing the 'cushion' or protective physical barrier that keeps your sensitive skin around your genitals from too much friction during sex. The friction resulting from bare skin can also cause micro-tears in your skin.
What about waxing?
Yes, waxing can cause the same risk because it could inflame hair follicles, increasing the susceptibility to certain infections. Also, wax salons where estheticians don’t sanitize their equipment properly, can transmit an infection from one client to the next.
Consequently, a small body of research suggests removing pubic hair may not be the best choice for your sexual health. It could raise your risk of sexually transmitted infections (STIs). But what you do with your body hair is totally up to you!
If you decide that stop removing your pubic hair is not the solution, here are some ways you can prevent the spread of STIs:
- Use condoms
- Get tested regularly, at least once a year whether you test positive or not.
- Avoid removing your hair before having sex. Give your skin time to heal.
- Use a clean razor to shave
- Make sure the tools you are using, or the estheticians are using at the salon are completely clean and sanitized.
- Try trimming your pubic hair instead of removing it. Use scissors or electric razors.
- Seal your skin with an after-shaving cream or lotion
Remember: Stay safe. Ask all the questions… and for us, this one was definitely one worthy to look up!
Written by VIBLOK® Creative Team