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Is it safe to shave pubic hair during pregnancy?

Intimate hygiene should not take a backseat even if you are pregnant. But should you shave pubic hair during pregnancy?
View All Images Flower placed near woman's private parts
Shaving pubic hair during pregnancy may not be a good idea. Image courtesy: Freepik
Natalia Ningthoujam Published: 8 Jan 2024, 21:00 pm IST
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Medically Reviewed by

Shaving pubic hair is one way to maintain intimate hygiene, but is it safe during pregnancy? While pubic or perineal shaving is a common practice when would-be moms are prepped for delivery, it may not always be advised that a woman does it on her own. After a few weeks of pregnancy, women are not able to see below their belly bump and may end up facing side effects if things go wrong. Does that mean women skip shaving pubic hair during pregnancy?

What is pubic hair?

Pubic hair is the hair that grows in the genital area, covering the pubic region. It is a secondary sexual characteristic that appears during puberty and varies in thickness, colour and texture among individuals, says Dr Mridula Devi, an expert in maternal-fetal medicine, obstetrics and gynaecology.

Pregnant woman
Shaving pubic hair during pregnancy may have side effects. Image courtesy: Adobe Stock

Can women shave pubic hair during pregnancy?

Shaving pubic hair can make it easier to maintain personal hygiene during pregnancy, but there may be some side effects.

1. Skin irritation

Shaving pubic hair can cause skin irritation, redness or itching. They may be more pronounced during pregnancy due to increased sensitivity, says the expert.

2. Ingrown hair

Shaving increases the risk of ingrown hair, which can be uncomfortable. It may also lead to infection if not properly treated.

3. Risk of cuts

Pregnancy can alter a woman’s center of gravity. This makes it more challenging to navigate while shaving and increasing the risk of accidental cuts.

4. Infection risk

Any open cuts or nicks from shaving pubic hair can potentially pose a higher risk of infection during pregnancy.

Opting for clipping or trimming of pubic hair, rather than shaving, is often considered a better choice, says Dr Devi. Trimming can shorten your pubic hair without cutting too close to your skin. Microscopic abrasions associated with shaving might increase the likelihood of infections. So, choosing a gentler approach like clipping helps to maintain hygiene without the potential drawbacks associated with shaving, promoting a more comfortable experience.

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What are the dos and don’ts of shaving pubic hair during pregnancy?

If you still wish to get rid of pubic hair during pregnancy, make sure you keep a few things in mind.

Dos:

• Use a mild shaving cream or gel to help to reduce skin irritation.
• Use a clean and sharp razor, as a dull one can increase the risk of nicks and irritation.
• Shave in a well-lit area to minimise the risk of accidents.
• During pregnancy, you could get dizzy and fall while trying to look out down, so lean back against a chair or seated toilet while shaving.
• Use a handheld mirror to get a better view of your vulva. It can help to watch yourself while shaving pubic hair.
• Rinse with cool water to reduce redness or soothe your skin.
• Gently pat your private area dry with a soft towel, as doing it roughly can cause irritation.

A woman looking at her vagina
After shaving, rinse your private area with cool water. Image courtesy: Adobe Stock

Don’ts:

• Skip products with strong fragrances or harsh chemicals that may irritate the skin.
• Avoid hot baths immediately after shaving, as hot water can exacerbate skin irritation. So, it’s best to wait a bit before taking a hot bath.
• Shave in the direction of your hair growth to reduce the risk of ingrown hairs.

Shaving pubic hair during pregnancy is a personal choice. And if you wish to do it, make sure you follow the rules.

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About the Author

Natalia Ningthoujam has written on various subjects - from music to films and fashion to lifestyle - as a journalist in her career that started in 2010. After getting stories from the crime scene, police headquarters, and conducting interviews with celebrities, she is now writing on health and wellness which has become her focus area. ...Read More

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