Are there benefits to removing my pubic hair?
Answer From Mary Marnach, M.D.
There's no medical or hygienic reason for removing some or all of your pubic hair. But the removal process can be painful and cause many side effects, including:
- Genital itching, sometimes severe
- Genital burns from waxing
- Abrasions or cuts during shaving or waxing
- Stubble, rash, bumps and ingrown hairs
- Bacterial infections
- Increased risk of contracting or transmitting viral infections, such as herpes simplex or HPV, due to cuts or skin irritation that make the skin more susceptible
- Contact dermatitis from shaving products
If you're considering removing your pubic hair, ask your doctor for guidance to help minimize the side effects.
March 15, 2019
See more Expert Answers
- Rowen TS, et al. Pubic hair grooming prevalence and motivation among women in the United States. JAMA Dermatology. 2016;152:1106.
- Trager JDK. Pubic hair removal — Pearls and pitfalls. Journal of Pediatric and Adolescent Gynecology. 2006;19:117.
- Frequently asked questions. Women's health FAQ 190. Vulvovaginal health. American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists. https://www.acog.org/Patients/FAQs/Vulvovaginal-Health. Accessed Feb. 12, 2019.
- Butler SM, et al. Pubic hair preferences, reasons for removal, and associated genital symptoms: Comparisons between men and women. The Journal of Sexual Medicine. 2015;12:48.
- DeMaria AL, et al. Complications related to pubic hair removal. American Journal of Obstetrics and Gynecology. 2014;210:528.e1.
- Boroughs MS, et al. Correlates of body depilation: An exploratory study into the health implications of body hair reduction and removal of college-aged men. American Journal of Men's Health. 2014;8:217.