Yes, Your Pubic Hair Can Actually Affect Your Health

Brazilian waxes, bare bikini lines, and full-body beach selfies have normalized the porn, razor, and lingerie industries’ standards of being completely bare, without hair down there. But what about people who live outside of a glossy commercial? Is it normal to wax, shave, both or neither!?

Ultimately, it is up to you how you choose to groom your own body, and we’re not here to tell you how to do your own body care rituals. But we’re curious, from a scientific perspective, about why pubic hair grows the way it does and what it might do (or not do) for our health. That’s why we talked to an OB-GYN and a waxing professional to get the real scoop about pubic hair.

Keep on reading to understand all you need to know about the pubic hair debate.  

First of all, why do bodies have pubic hair? 

Surprise! Pubic hair actually has a medical purpose beyond giving people yet another aspect of their appearance to worry about. There is debate among scientists over whether or not pubic hair was biologically designed help attract potential mates (you know, back in the days before Instagram filters and Tinder profiles). However, according to gynecologist Dr. Jessica Shepherd, pubic hair’s known function is to be a protective barrier for our body.

“Pubic hair helps to fend off bacteria and unwanted pathogens from entering the vaginal area, which helps to keep us from getting yeast infections and UTIs,” Shepherd told SheKnows. “In other words, pubic hair is supposed to be there for those purposes.”

Does it prevent infections?

Given these built-in protective benefits, embracing your womanly nature might be worthwhile. However, do take note: “Bacteria grows in moisture, and sometimes hair can contribute to having more of a moist area,” Shepherd said. “Some women work out a lot or like to go swimming, and this trapped sweat and moisture may increase the chances of getting a yeast infection.”

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