People who groom their pubic hair 'more likely to have had an STI'

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Intimate personal grooming has been linked to a higher likelihood of sexually transmitted infections (STI), new research suggests.

People who groom their pubic hair are 80% more likely to have had an STI than those who do not, according to the paper published in the journal Sexually Transmitted Infections.

Researchers polled 7,580 US adults on their trimming and shaving habits.

The participants were also quizzed on whether they had a history of STIs.

Three quarters of respondents - including 66% of men and 84% of women - reporting personal grooming.

And 13% said they had had at least one STI.

The study found that the positive association between grooming and having had an STI were stronger among "extreme groomers" - those who removed all of their pubic hair more than 11 times a year - and "high-frequency groomers" - those who performed daily or weekly pubic hair trimming.

The authors put forward a number of suggestions for their finding, including that grooming may cause "microtears", which in turn may increase the risk of some STIs.

Meanwhile, those who groom might also be more likely to engage in "risky sexual behaviours", they added.