Pubic hair & your sexual health.

Yup, I’m talking about another taboo topic on the big open inter-webs.

Pubic Hair. Should you shave? Wax? Laser that shit away? or should you just let it grow wild?

The answer is this: it’s up to you. It is not up to what the potential men who are going to see you naked think. It’s not up to what your husband thinks. Its not up to what you think is the norm out there right now. Its simply about what you’re comfortable with.

Lets talk about a couple of things to consider when it comes to this topic..

Pubic hair has a purpose, and thats to protect your bits from germs that can cause infection. When we strip that away, we are removing a physical barrier to infection. Think: genital herpes, genital warts, yeast infections. You are more likely to contract an STI if you have removed your pubic hair (1a, 1b, 1c). Additionally, you are more likely to have vulvular dysplasia (a change in the cells that can lead to cancer) or cancer itself from shaving your pubic hair (1d). Folks who have removed their pubic hair even once in their lifetime were more likely to have had a history of an STI!

We also have to think about the method in which it is removed. Shaving and waxing can often lead to microscopic cuts, ingrown hairs, irritated hair follicles and redness. Did you know that our skin (aka our integumentary system) is a large part of our immune system? It physically protects us from getting germs that belong on the outside, from getting into our insides. When our integument is compromised with things like cuts or irritation, it opens up a space for infection.

And did you know that having pubic hair increases sensation during intimacy? We have little nerve endings at each hair follicle that help with sexual arousal. Removing hair and/or damaging the follicles can lead to decreased arousal and even vaginal moisture!

But with all this being said, some people hate the feeling or the look of having hair down there. From looking at various informal online surveys, up to approx. 80% of women remove some if not all of their pubic hair in one way or another. There are different times of year (aka summer bikini season) where you may not want to have it all hanging’ out. So lets talk about the safest ways to remove it so you can prevent damage and protect your bits from potential pathogens!

Shaving

It seem this is the most common method people choose. If you’re going to shave regularly, try to soak the skin in warm water first (a bath) to help with removal. Never use a dull or dirty razor and if you find that your skin is sensitive and ends up in red bumps afterwards – try applying deodorant as your “shaving cream” – trust me, it works!

Trimming

Also popular, removing some of the hair but not all of it with an electric shaver can be a good way to help decrease the bush load without as much irritation to the skin. This might be a safer option for those with super sensitive skin!

Waxing

Consider where and who is waxing your bits for you. Most people opt to have it done at a waxing bar rather than do it themselves – just make sure that you’re having a professional do it in a clean environment. Contracting skin or vaginal infections from the processes of waxing can be common.

Hair Removal Cream

Can be pretty risky and is essentially a low-key chemical burn. These creams are full of chemicals that have unknown effects on your reproductive system, I would avoid this method if you can.

Electrolysis & Laser Hair Removal

If you’re looking to bid your hair goodbye for good, same principles apply as for waxing. Make sure you’re going to a professional that has proper sanitation standards, and keep in mind the associated risks of having NO hair down there anymore.

So no matter the method you choose, or if you choose to use no method at all, YOUR hair is YOUR choice, just the same as the hair on your head.

 

 

References:
1a. 2017, Osterberg EC1,2, Gaither TW1, Awad MA1, Truesdale MD1, Allen I3, Sutcliffe S4, Breyer BN1,3.
1b. https://sti.bmj.com/content/93/3/162
1c. 2015. Gaither TW1, Truesdale M, Harris CR, Alwaal A, Shindel AW, Allen IE, Breyer BN.
1d. 2018, (Schild-Suhren M#1, Soliman AA#1, Malik E1.

 

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