Shaving or trimming pubic hair is now common among both sexes, with a recent survey finding that 84% of women had done it. But are there any health benefits of pubic hair? Or could it actually be harmful? Shaving or trimming, which is best?
All these are questions that need to be answered ASAP since there are many unfounded beliefs, actions, and suggestions nowadays concerning pubic hair. Some people say you have to shave it all off, and others say you have to just trim it.
So. Bornfertilelady today aims to clarify this question; Is it best for a woman to trim or shave her pubic hair?
Read on to know the answer.
Pubic Hair – Does it actually have a purpose?
Yes, pubic hair does have a purpose. Above all else, it lessens friction during sex and prevents the transmission of bacteria and other pathogens.
There are probably other reasons why we have pubic hair, too. Everyone has pubic hair, but we all make different decisions as to what we do with it.
Some people prefer to let it grow, while others trim it, shave it, or wax it. What you do with yours is up to you.
Read on to learn more about why it grows, how it affects hygiene, the risks associated with shaving or removal, and also to get an answer to: Is it best for a woman to trim or shave her pubic hair?
Pubic Hair, What Does it Really Do?
When it comes to pubic hair, humans are an anomaly among mammals. However, that doesn’t mean pubic hair has no purpose at all. We’ve evolved this way for a reason.
Especially if you are a woman, you might wonder; what does pubic hair do for a woman?
To answer this question, check the following;
- Reducing friction
The skin on your genital region is delicate. Pubic hair acts like a protective buffer, reducing friction during sex and other activities.
Some sources even refer to pubic hair as a “dry lubricant.” That’s because it’s easier to rub the hair against hair than it is to rub skin against skin.
Pubic hair may also keep the genitals warm, which is an important factor in sexual arousal.
- Protection from bacteria and other pathogens
Pubic hair serves a similar function to eyelashes or nose hair. That is, it traps dirt, debris, and potentially harmful microorganisms.
In addition, hair follicles produce sebum, an oil that actually prevents bacteria from reproducing.
It follows that pubic hair may protect against certain infections, including cellulitis. sexually transmitted infections (STIs), urinary tract infections (UTIs), vaginitis, yeast infections, and others.
Are There Any Other Benefits of Pubic Hair, Especially for Women?
We don’t fully understand all of the reasons why we have hair down there. Some additional theories are described below:
- Signals reproductive ability
Pubic hair appears at puberty. It’s an obvious physical sign of sexual maturity — and consequently, one’s ability to reproduce. In the past, it may have served as a visual cue for prospective mates.
- Pheromone transmission
Another theory links pubic hair to the transmission of pheromones, or scent-carrying chemical secretions that affect mood and behavior. We still don’t know exactly how pheromones influence sexuality.
Pheromones are secreted from apocrine sweat glands. Compared to other areas of the body, the pubic region has a lot of these glands.
Therefore, as the theory goes, pubic hair may trap pheromones, increasing how attractive we appear to potential sex partners.
Is There Such a Thing as Having ‘Too Much’ Hair Growth?
Pubic hair growth — including location and thickness — varies from one person to the next. Some people have more pubic hair, and others have less.
With that said, extreme variations in hair growth sometimes signal an underlying hormonal condition.
For instance, among adults assigned females at birth, excessive pubic hair can be a sign of polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS).
This condition is associated with higher-than-usual levels of testosterone, the sex hormone that controls hair growth.
Other symptoms include irregular periods and hair growth elsewhere on the body, including the face.
On the other hand, among people assigned male at birth, a lack of hair in the pubic region can be a sign of low testosterone production.
Other symptoms of low T include a low sex drive and erectile dysfunction.
Talk to a doctor if you’re experiencing irregular hair growth alongside other unusual symptoms. Hormone therapy might be able to help.
Is Pubic Hair Unhygienic?
Many people say that pubic hair is unhygienic, and this is one of the most common misconceptions about pubic hair leading people to ask whether is it best for a woman to trim or shave her pubic hair.
In a nationally representative 2013 survey of 7,580 people, 59 percent of women and 61 percent of men who groomed their pubic hair reported doing so for hygienic purposes. But pubic hair isn’t actually unhygienic.
Like other hair on your body, your pubes trap sweat, oil, and bacteria. So, they might have a slightly stronger odor than other areas of your body. As long as you wash regularly, this shouldn’t be a cause for concern.
Why Do People Rigorously Shave or Remove Pubic Hair?
There are a lot of reasons why people get rid of their pubic hair. Some of the most common ones are discussed below;
- Social norms
Grooming pubic hair has been common practice for centuries. Today, at least some hair removal is common. Some theories link this trend to increased accessibility to porn, where hairlessness is the norm.
A lot of people remove their pubic hair to conform to this aesthetic standard. For instance, in the 2013 survey cited above, 31.5 percent of women who reported grooming their pubic hair did so because they believed it would make their genitals more attractive.
In the same survey, men were less likely than women to report grooming for this reason.
- Partner expectations
For others, partner preferences drive their grooming habits. In the 2013 survey, around 21.1 percent of women reported that their pubic grooming was related to partner preference.
The same survey showed that a similar percentage of men also groom according to their partner’s desire. In a 2015 study, men were more likely than women to report a preference for a pubic hair-free sexual partner.
In contrast, women were more likely to cite that they preferred trimmed or partially shaved or waxed pubic hair.
- Personal preference
For some, removing their pubic hair is simply a matter of personal preference. People who prefer to remove their pubic hair often cite comfort, routine, and sexual confidence as motivating factors.
- Increased sensation
Some people believe that removing their pubic hair increases genital sensation during sex. Indeed, studies suggest that there’s a link between pubic hair removal and self-reported sexual functioning.
However, one doesn’t necessarily cause the other. There are likely other factors involved. For instance, people who remove their pubic hair are more likely to be young, so it would make sense that they also report increased sexual functioning.
More research needs to be done to understand the link between pubic hair removal and sexual sensation.
What Risks are Associated with Pubic HAIR Removal or Rigorous Shaving?
There are some risks associated with removing your pubic hair:
Pubic grooming injuries are surprisingly common. A 2017 study based on data from the same nationally representative 2013 survey cited above reported that 25.6 percent of groomers sustained injuries during or after pubic hair shaving or removal.
In the study, cuts were the most commonly reported injury, with burns and rashes also reported frequently. In very rare cases, these injuries required medical attention.
As mentioned above, pubic hair serves a protective function by trapping pathogens that could otherwise enter your body.
Removing or shaving pubic hair may therefore make a person more susceptible to common infections, such as UTIs, vaginitis, and yeast infections.
Pubic hair shaving or removal can also irritate your skin, leading to skin infections such as cellulitis and folliculitis. In other cases, grooming-related injuries, such as cuts, could become infected.
- Staph boils
In rare cases, pubic hair shaving or removal might result in the development of boils in your genital area. Boils can develop from skin irritation and infections, such as cellulitis and folliculitis.
Boils usually start as red bumps just under the surface of the skin. They might be filled with pus. Boils aren’t as deep as abscesses.
As with boils, abscesses tend to develop from irritation caused by certain hair removal methods, such as shaving or waxing.
Abscesses are deep, under-the-skin infections that cause pain, swelling, and redness.
Limited research suggests that pubic hair grooming is associated with an increased risk of STIs.
In one 2017 study, people who reported grooming their pubic hair were more likely to also report having had an STI at some point in their lifetime, compared to non-groomers.
Despite this association, more evidence is needed to determine if grooming directly contributes to this increased risk. Some STIs that have been associated with pubic hair grooming include chlamydia, herpes, HIV, human papillomavirus (HPV), molluscum contagiosum, and syphilis.
Is There a Way to Safely Shave or Remove the Pubic Hair?
There are some things you can do to reduce your risk of an injury or infection during and after grooming your pubes. Try the following:
- Wash yourself beforehand. Cleaning your skin before you get to trimming or shaving will help prevent the transmission of bacteria.
- Disinfect your razor blade or scissors and change blades often. Make sure all of the tools you need for the job are disinfected. Change razor blades on a regular basis, and avoid using the scissors you use to trim for other things.
- Use a handheld mirror. Make sure you can see what you’re doing, and go slowly.
- Keep skin moist and lathered. If you’re shaving, your skin should be wet. Use soap suds or shaving gel to keep the area lubricated.
- Proceed in the direction of your hair growth. For smoother results and less irritation, trim or shave your hair in the same direction it grows in.
- Moisturize after. Moisturizing after your shave or wax can help soothe irritated skin. Use a natural oil or lotion to prevent the skin from drying out.
- Avoid tight clothes for a few days after. When your underwear is too close to your skin, it can worsen irritation. If you can, opt for loose underwear after a fresh shave.
- Exfoliate regularly. Use a gentle loofah or scrub to remove dead skin.
Visiting a professional to have your pubic hair removed isn’t inherently safer than doing it yourself, provided you know what you’re doing. However, waxing is probably best done by a professional since hot wax can cause burns.
If You Go All Natural Without Shaving, How Should You Keep the Pubic Area Clean?
Keeping your pubic area clean is easy. You should:
- Wash with warm, soapy water when you take a shower.
- Avoid using scented products to clean your pubic area, as they can lead to a pH imbalance.
- Wipe after you use the toilet from front to back.
- Use a damp towel or tissue to clean your pubic area between baths or showers.
- Always dry your pubic hair after cleaning.
Shaving or trimming – Is it Best for a Woman to Trim or Shave Her Pubic Hair?
Since when did pubic hair become so yucky? Sure, it’s wiry, but it is a secondary sex characteristic, for crying out loud. And one that is increasingly being shaved, waxed, or lasered from the lives of young adult women.
The fashionable pubis is now smooth and shiny, like Barbie’s bits. Or, more uncomfortably, because let’s say it how it is, like prepubescent genitalia.
Why do so many women leave the mons pubis looking like a sore plucked chicken? In a survey of 3,316 women in the US, published this week in JAMA Dermatology, 59% said they did it for “hygiene reasons”.
Overall, 84% said they had done some grooming and 62% said they had removed all their pubic hair at least once. Obliteration of hair was most common between the ages of 18 to 24. More than 20% said they did it for their partners. Feeling sexier was also a reason.
The lead author of the paper, Dr. Tami S Rowen, said: “Many women think they are dirty and unclean if they haven’t groomed.” She and her co-authors point to a link between grooming and the rise in cosmetic surgery.
Previous surveys show similar results for grooming with men also shaving their pubic hair, but at less than half the rate that women do.
If hair is that unclean, why don’t we shave (sorry, groom) it off our heads? Is it really cleaner, sexier, empowering, and all the other things the survey respondents believe it to be?
Is it Best for a Woman to Trim or Shave Her Pubic Hair? – The Truth
In fairness there have always been grooming fashions, with ancient Greek urns depicting hairless women: in ancient times, women allegedly plucked their pubic hair or used lamps to burn it off. Ouch.
The modern trend for hairlessness is partly blamed on Playboy, which a study from George Washington University showed moved from pubic hair being visible on most of its models up until the 1980s, to vanishing almost entirely (on less than 10% of models) this century.
Your pubic hair is your own business. But pubic hair was put there to protect your genitalia from friction and infection. It is more hygienic not to shave it (although depilation does make pubic lice homeless).
In removing their pubic hair, most women will get cuts or ingrown hairs, and some will develop inflammation of the hair follicles or hyperpigmentation.
If they are really unlucky – or are rubbish with a razor – there is a possibility of skin infections and perhaps an increased risk of catching herpes and other sexually transmitted diseases.
This is because the delicate pubis is left with tiny cuts through which bacteria and viruses can penetrate. Removing all the hair leaves your pubis wounded and defenseless.
Another US study found that the number of emergency department visits for grooming increased fivefold between 2002 and 2010.
So it’s better to just trim your pubic hair and leave some hair to continue doing its work of protecting your pubis, and genitals, because we have already established what those hairs do and that shaving all the pubic hair will leave your pubis unprotected, which can also affect your genitals.
The bottom line is that there’s a reason you have pubic hair. What you do with your hair — whether you trim, shave, wax, or let it grow — is up to you, but don’t do something that will affect you later on. Health in every aspect is very, very important.
All right, guys, that is it for now for: Is it best for a woman to trim or shave her pubic hair?
I hope Bornfertilelady answered any questions you had concerning whether is it best for a woman to trim or shave her pubic hair?
And always remember that Bornfertilelady is one of the best health sites out there that genuinely care for expecting parents, and you can find valuable information on all things about prenatal care on this site.
It is founded by a pregnancy expert and a mother of two, and the platform offers resources on prenatal nutrition, including information on the best pregnancy vitamins and insightful tips on how to have a healthier lifestyle as a mom (pregnant and delivered).
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