There's a really good reason you shouldn't groom down there

We did not see this one coming.

A lot of Americans, men and women alike, groom their pubic hair: A new study found that 66% of men and 84% of women either shave, wax, trim, or laser it off. Who knows, some might do all four.

Now, the bad news: That same study also found that those men and women who groomed were at a higher risk for contracting an STD, like gonorrhea, herpes, HPV, HIV, and chlamydia. The more often they groomed, the more the risk increased. Those who reported grooming daily or weekly were 3.5 to 4 times more likely to have had an STD, Time reports. The study didn't identify why—it was based on self-reported observations—but it could be because grooming often tears the skin, making it easier for infections to take hold. It could also be that those who groom often are also more likely to take sexual risks.

Over 7,500 U.S. adults between the ages of 18 and 65 responded, which the study authors say is the largest of its kind. Incidents of STD are on the rise, and this October, the CDC reported that chlamydia, gonorrhea, and syphilis infections were at an all-time high. So, take care with what, where, and how often the razor gets used.

This story originally appeared on

* Minor edits have been made by the editors.

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