Claim: A Gynecologist, Dr. Jen Gunther, warned that waxing or shaving of a woman’s pubic hair can cause ‘microscopic trauma’ and lead to infections.
Verdict: Frequently shaving or waxing one’s pubic hair could lead to cuts which in turn aids infection when not properly treated and this can also dampen a woman’s arousal during sexual intercourse.
An online medium Trojan News posted an article of a gynecologist, Dr. Jen Gunther, urging women not to remove their pubic hair.
In the article, the gynecologist and author of The Vagina Bible was quoted as saying “waxing or shaving creates microscopic trauma that can lead to infections.”
“Getting a Brazilian may also reduce pleasure, with the pubic hair being connected to nerve endings that might help arousal,” Dr. Gunter added.
Pubic hair is basically body hair that is found and located in the genital area of human beings. The hair is present on and around the sexual organs. It is found in the scrotum (male) and vulva (female).
Over the years, having a bare and smooth skin has become a common practice for people all over the world regardless of their gender. This practice, just as in some climes, has become a norm to have the public hair removed and is often regarded as part of personal hygiene.
And as such, it has become a routine for some women to shave or wax their hair especially around the private part. Though the removal of pubic hair is generally safe, there are some common side effects. These include:
-Burns from chemical removers
So, those waxing and shaving of a woman’s pubic hair cause microscopic trauma leading to infections.
Microscopic trauma which is also known as microtrauma is basically any small injury that is usually one of a series that can lead to major injuries. It can include the micro-tearing of muscle fibers, the sheath around the muscle, and the connective tissue.
Microscopic injuries are overuse injuries from persistent and repetitive motions that can cause microscopic damage, muscle and connective tissue imbalances that can over time alter and limit activities. The area of injury undergoes a mechanical stress reaction that may sometimes include microtears, inflammation, swelling, and tenderness, usually in a pointed area.
Early microtrauma may not be detectable, obvious, painful, or have any swelling. However, as the overuse continues with time, the microscopic imbalance becomes extreme, and extra tear weakens the flesh while tissue degeneration increases until symptoms or physical limitations manifest.
Can waxing and shaving of the pubic hair cause microscopic trauma leading to infections and reducing arousal for a woman?
A Consultant Gynecologist with the University of Medical sciences teaching hospital, Ondo (UNIMEDTH), Dr. Olukayode Lawal, said microscopic trauma occurs when the pubic hair is removed often.
According to him, ‘For every cycle of shaving, in the course of the regrowth of hair, there is a tendency that the rate at which the various hair growth occurs could be a point or site for infection. Depending on the method used to get rid of the pubic hair, one could either suffer a cut or injury, so as much as one sweats or inserts a foreign object in that area, it could lead to a risk of infection. If one has unprotected sex, it could be a source of sexually transmitted infection.’
While reacting to the claim that waxing could reduce pleasure, Dr. Lawal said every structure in that perennial region is well vascularized and so could be easily stimulated and as such a cut in that region could lead to pain during sex, thus increasing the possibility of contacting sexual infection.
Dr Lawal, however, advised that women should limit the removal of their pubic hair and only do so when it is well grown.
A Gynecologist, Dr. Victor Adefesoye, said there is an average possibility of waxing and shaving of the pubic hair causing microscopic trauma which could lead to infections.
“There is a 50-50 chance of this happening and that is because if one has a cut in the pubic area and such is not well taken care of, it could lead to infections. However, it is not true in cases, where the removal of pubic hair does not leave an injury behind. So, if there is an injury, it could lead to infection sometimes, only if not well taken care of.”
While also speaking on the possibility of pubic hair removal reducing pleasure, Dr. Adefesoye said there would be reduced arousal if the woman suffers an injury in the course of shaving or waxing the public area.
“If there is a cut in the public region and she is engaged in a sexual activity, the cut could be painful to the woman and that could reduce the woman’s libido thereby leading to reduced pleasure,” he said.
He, therefore, opined that cuts or injuries suffered during the removal of pubic hair could reduce sexual pleasure.
Studies have also shown that grooming one’s pubic hair can be harmful to one’s health as one-quarter of people who shave or wax are injuring themselves. The biggest risk in getting nicked while removing pubic hair is that small cuts can let in bacteria. Researchers also found a link between more frequent grooming and sexually transmitted diseases, such as herpes or syphilis.
Frequently shaving or waxing one’s pubic hair could lead to cuts which in turn aid infection when not properly treated and this can also dampen a woman’s arousal during sexual intercourse.
The researcher produced this fact check article per the Dubawa 2021 Kwame KariKari Fellowship partnership with Crest FM to facilitate the ethos of “truth” in journalism and enhance media literacy in the country.