Today in Medicine: Brazilian and bikini waxing may up your STD odds
She might be so happy if she picks up an STI from a bikini wax.
Pubic hair removal may increase sexually transmitted infection risk
Location of study: France
Study subjects: 30 men and women with pubic hair removed
Results: A recent study published in “Sexually Transmitted Infections” found that Brazilian waxing and other types of pubic hair removal, including shaving, was a possible link to an increased risk of a viral infection called molluscum contagiousum. Molluscum contagiosum is a poxvirus that can be passed on through sex, but it is also easily spread by self-infection, such as scratching. Researchers say the risk seems higher with shaving than waxing and that other STIs, such as genital warts, could be more frequent with genital hair removal.
Significance: Over the past decade, researchers noted that the number of sexually transmitted cases molluscum contagiosum had risen, just as the popularity of pubic hair removal had also increased.
Night shifts could up odds of ovarian cancer
Location of study: U.S.
Study subjects: 1,101 women with a common advanced ovarian cancer, 389 with borderline disease and 1,832 women without ovarian cancer, all aged between 35 and 74.
Results: New findings published in “Occupational and Environmental Medicine” state that shift work may be associated with an increased risk of cancer. Researchers think that the result could be due to lower melatonin production. This hormone is mostly produced at night and regulates reproductive hormones, particularly estrogen. It also destroys cancer-causing free radicals and boosts antioxidant production in the body.
Significance: The International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC) has classified work schedules that disrupt the body’s normal time clock (circadian rhythm) as a probable cancer-causing agent.
Brain changes that happen in parenthood
Location of study: Japan
Study subjects: male mice
Results: A study published in “The Journal of Neuroscience” found that sexually naïve mice respond aggressively to chemical signals (most likely pheromones) from newborn pups, while pup pheromone perception is suppressed in fathers (sexually-active male mice), tending to make them more nurturing.
Significance: The findings may help scientists to better understand the changes that take place in the brains of some mammals during the transition into parenthood.