Sexual Health Q&A

Female Sexual Health Male Sexual Health
Does pubic hair removal have any medical or therapeutic benefit?

Throughout history, men and women have removed their pubic hair for a variety of reasons, both health-related and otherwise.

For example, during the Middle Ages, pubic hair removal was a method for preventing pubic lice.

Nowadays, however, removing pubic hair is based more on personal preference and style rather than health concerns.

Some people feel more clean or attractive without pubic hair. Others remove it at the request of their partners.

People remove their pubic hair for sexual reasons, too. Some report greater genital sensation and satisfaction without it. Others say that seeing a partner without pubic hair is more sexually stimulating.

The practice is more common among women than men.

Removing pubic hair is a personal decision, and people can be sexually healthy, whether they have pubic hair or not.

However, if one chooses to remove it, it’s important to do so safely. Methods of removal can lead to health problems like the following:

  • Burns. People can develop razor burns (areas of irritated, red, bumpy skin) from shaving, chemical burns from depilatories, or burns from using hot wax during waxing.
  • Allergies. Some people have allergic reactions to depilatories, creams or other products.
  • Cuts. A slip of a razor can cause a painful cut in a delicate area that may be hard to treat. Some cuts are difficult to see.
  • Infections. Pubic hair removal can increase the risk of infections like folliculitis [an infection of the hair follicle] and “strep” and “staph” infections [such as Methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA)]. Sexually-transmitted infections [STIs], like genital herpes, are also a concern because they can be transmitted from a partner’s skin.

Other possible problems are blisters, pimples, redness and itching.

People who experience any of these issues may need to see a doctor.

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