Though many women debate their personal preferences, citing everything from appearance to sexual appeal, there are actual health benefits to leaving your lady ‘do intact.
Noting these benefits can help women who are on the fence sort out which factors matter most to make an informed decision. It’s also especially important to highlight that these benefits are more relevant to specific age groups, and an internet-based survey by Indiana University tied the decision to age (more than 40 percent of women under at 40 have completely removed their hair). Younger women are more likely to trim, partly shave or completely remove pubic hair with their likeliness decreasing as they age — which means these younger women should consider all the relevant facts before committing to a long-term grooming schedule.
1. Decreases risk of STIs
Sexually transmitted infections are just what their name implies: diseases or infections you can contract from having sex or other close-contact relations. Though condoms are reportedly one of the primary forms of prevention, arming your body with pubic hair can also help solidify your defenses. Bacteria and other harmful infections may get trapped in your pubic hair, preventing them from making contact with your skin and entering your body if washed away promptly.
2. Random dust and bacterial prevention
Along the same lines, pubic hair helps act as a safety net for your vagina, catching various particles and preventing every last thing from directly contacting your skin. Without the irritation that may otherwise be inflicted on a bare lady, your chances of developing an infection are much lower.
3. Minimizes risk of contracting viral infection
As you drag a razor across your skin or have the hairs ripped from your body with wax, you get more than just a smooth patch of skin. Epidermal abrasion from shaving and waxing makes skin extra vulnerable to micro-trauma, which presents excellent opportunities for pesky infections to penetrate and infect you. This relationship was more recently discovered when researchers looked at men and women who had contracted the pox virus molluscum contagiosum. The virus is most commonly spread through tiny disruptions in the skin, such as the kind caused by shaving or waxing.
4. Less ingrown hair and itchy bumps
If you’re one of the 77 percent of women who has ever used a razor to remove her pubic hair, you likely don’t have fond memories of the itchiness and red bikini line bumps that followed. In fact, 60 percent of women who removed their hair reported ingrown hairs and general irritation as the primary complication. Obviously, foregoing the razor banishes those bumps and their painful cousin, the infected pimple with a hair inside.
5. Regulates vaginal temperature
Everyone knows the basic biological reasoning behind sweating: to help cool your body. Guess what? This process isn’t much different for your V, which gets even less of a natural breeze than your other body parts. Your pubic hair plays an integral role in allowing sweat to properly evaporate, which is good news for both moisture regulation and temperature control.
6. Strengthens your scent
As this HelloFlo article perfectly explains, “pheromones are unconscious chemical signals that influence the body and behavior and can be released through sweat, odors, and other bodily fluids.” Before we humans were as sophisticated as we are today, pubic hair likely acted as a visual signal to potential mates, a “come hither” if you will, to signal maturation.
In addition to branding you as biologically ready to reproduce, a generous amount of pubic hair can also trap pheromones that aid in the attraction and selection of your sexual partners. According to Columbia University’s Go Ask Alice, “Studies suggest that women are attracted to men with very different [major histocompatibility complexes] than their own, perhaps because genetically diverse offspring may be more able to fight off disease. For some people, scents from these areas are noticeable and consciously increase sexual arousal.”
Whether you choose to shave, partially trim or let it be, the choice is yours.
By Kaysie Garza
Originally published on HelloFlo.