Written by Solaade Ayo-Aderele - Nigeria.
Sometimes, the way many people treat the hairs on their bodies can make your jaws to drop. Those who believe in shaving off any hair that appears on any part of the body apart from the head, would do anything to get rid of body hairs.
From shaving to waxing, laser hair removal and what not, the idea, as far as such people are concerned, is that only the head deserves to be hairy.
For such people, maintaining the pubic hair is a bore. They simply can’t stand the sight of a hairy front side! As such, they regularly shave it clean, making it bald, as it were.
Well, while cosmetologists may not see anything wrong in getting rid of unwanted body hairs, including those in the pubic region, physicians are saying that the pubic hair has reasons for being there and that it amounts to plain misadventure when you shave clean your privates.
While both men and women engage in assaulting their pubic hair, the fact remains that women have more tendency to shave off their nether regions than men are won’t to.
Consultant Gynaecologist, Dr. Dominic Emeka, says in fairness to women, their biological make-up makes the shaving of pubic hair sometimes inevitable.
He says, “Take, for instance, when a woman wants to deliver a baby, her physician might advise her to shave a few days before her Expected Day of Delivery or C-Section, as the case may be.”
Emeka says there are reasons for that.
“When a woman shaves a few days to delivery, it makes the pubic area clean and neat. And, if the delivery is going to be by C-Section, of course, she will have to be shaved so that the surgeon can make incisions and do his/her job without any hindrance that the presence of pubic hair would constitute,” the physician explains.
He notes that in a situation where the surgeon has to do an episiotomy for a woman during delivery, pubic hair will be the last thing the doctor wants to contend with, hence the need to shave before coming to labour room.
“Shaving the pubic hair in this regard will reduce the possibility of mother-to-child infection, which can happen if the hair around the birth canal is not shaved clean before childbirth,” Emeka counsels.
He says, however, that in order to avoid irritation that sometimes accompanies shaving, it is better to do it two days before delivery. “This will also reduce the possibility of infection,” the doctor enthuses.
Apart from childbirth, Bello says, anyone — man or woman — who needs to undergo surgical procedures whereby the surgeon needs to gain access into the interior of the body via the pubic area, then the pubic hair must be shaved off.
Beyond these reasons, the physician says, it is good for us to leave our pubic hairs because they have reasons for growing in that part of the body.
He says the fact that the hairs grow back each time they are shaved indicates their usefulness in the human biology.
Reasons for pubic hair
Physicians are of the opinion that the number one reason we have pubic hair is to prevent us from contacting infection.
General Practitioner, Dr. Idayat Bello, says without the pubic hair in place, skins will rub against each other, possibly leading to infection.
“If someone is obese, for instance, s/he will have flabby stomach, which will probably drool over the pubic region, especially when seated.
“If such an individual shaves off the pubic hair, the stomach will regularly drool over the pubic area, creating a friction that may lead to infection,” Bello warns.
She adds that since the hairs around the pubic are sensitive, shaving them off may affect the skin membrane and make them susceptible to sexually transmitted infections.
Indeed, experts say that the pubic hair acts as a ‘shield.’ “It absorbs moisture and drains it away from areas being covered by the hair.
“When you shave off the hair in this region, it makes the surrounding skin to be more susceptible to sexually transmitted infections such as herpes and genital warts,” experts say.
Bello warns that pubic hair removal can also result in invisible cuts to the skin (medically known as epidermal abrasion) and ingrown hairs.
She adds that shaving your pubic hair can predispose you to staphylococcus, which may make you to develop boils, abscesses and inflammations.
“These illnesses may likely necessitate hospital visits, hence the need to avoid the triggers,” Bello counsels.
For men, physicians say, shaving the down below could lead to penile injuries, especially if a razor is used; while a pair of scissors could injure the balls. Those who opt for the more sophisticated hot wax have also been known to sustain injuries of emergency proportion.
Again, physicians say, pubic hair prevents likely friction during sexual intercourse. “Friction may result when skin rubs against each other vigorously during sex. When this happens, it can result in skin abrasion or, sometimes, rashes. To avoid this, let your pubic hair be,” Bello pleads.
The bottom line: Pubic hairs attest to the fact that you are an adult. They are the secondary characteristics that announce your adulthood. This being the case, let them be if there are no health reasons to warrant shaving them off.