Now for the interesting part: The researchers realised that doing any type of pubic hair grooming was associated with an 80 percent greater risk of having an STD compared to those who let their hair grow free. But how often and how much grooming also played a role – “high frequency” and “extreme” groomers had nearly four times a greater risk of developing STDs than those who groomed less often or not at all.
Related: 4 STDs You Might Already Have
Obviously the more sexual partners you have, the higher your odds of contracting an STD. Plus, the CDC estimates that half of new STD infections occur among young people, reinforcing the notion that younger people are more likely to engage in risky sexual behaviour, thus upping the odds of STD contraction.
It’s also important to note that this was an observational study, so scientists can’t say that cleaning up your pubes actually increases your STD risk—they just noticed a link between the two.
In other words, do what you want with your pubic hair. So long as you practice safe sex and regularly check in with your OB/GYN, it’s likely you’ll be just fine.
This article originally appeared on Women's Health.