Ladies and gentlemen, please be careful if you're grooming down there.
A new study in the journal Urology shows that genitourinary injuries have increased by five times over the past decade due to grooming-related reasons.
NBC News first reported on the study, conducted by University of California, San Francisco researchers, which showed that pubic hair grooming injuries increased by 247 incidents each year between 2002 and 2010. NBC News reported that by 2010, there were 2,500 incidents a year.
Most of the injuries involved razors -- 83 percent -- and the most common injury type was laceration -- 36.6 percent. "External female genitalia" was the most commonly injured part of the genitourinary area, according to the study. And, researchers found that the injuries weren't only -- or even mostly -- in women. In fact, only 56.7 percent of those presenting with the injuries were women, the study said.
In 2009, the state of New Jersey considered (but ultimately decided against approving) a proposal that would have banned bikini waxing after two women became infected after getting Brazilian waxes, and even had to be hospitalized, USA Today reported.
And while it may be in vogue to shave -- or wax, or thread -- it all off down there, pubic hair does serve a purpose. Dr. Emily Gibson wrote on MedPage Today's KevinMD.com that when pubic hair is removed, tiny little wounds result that could become breeding grounds for bacteria. Plus, the irritation that comes from removing the hair could lead to irritation and inflammation. Gibson writes:
Pubic hair does have a purpose, providing cushion against friction that can cause skin abrasion and injury, protection from bacteria and other unwanted pathogens, and is the visible result of long awaited adolescent hormones, certainly nothing to be ashamed of or embarrassed about.