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Complications related to pubic hair removal

  • DeMaria, Andrea L.
  • Flores, Marissa
  • Hirth, Jacqueline M.
  • Berenson, Abbey B.1, 2, 3, 4
  • 1 Center for Interdisciplinary Research in Women's Health and Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology
  • 2 University of Texas Medical Branch
  • 3 Department of Health and Human Performance
  • 4 College of Charleston
Published Article
American Journal of Obstetrics and Gynecology
Publication Date
Jan 01, 2014
Accepted Date
Jan 27, 2014
DOI: 10.1016/j.ajog.2014.01.036


ObjectiveWe investigated the prevalence and correlates of complications related to pubic hair removal among a diverse clinical sample of women attending a public clinic. Study DesignWomen (aged 16-40 years) who received care from April to June 2012 at 2 publicly funded clinics completed an anonymous, self-administered questionnaire (n = 369). After excluding women with missing data, analyses were conducted on 333 women. Additional measures were retrieved through a medical chart review. A χ2 and a multivariable logistic regression were used to analyze participant characteristics, pubic hair removal behaviors, and complications related to pubic hair removal. ResultsMost women (87%) admitted to current removal of at least some pubic hair, whereas the remainder responded that they had removed pubic hair in the past. Under- or normal-weight women were more likely to report total pubic hair removal than overweight or obese women. The majority (60%) had experienced at least 1 health complication because of the removal, of which the most common were epidermal abrasion and ingrown hairs. Black and Hispanic women were less likely than white women to report complications. Overweight or obese women were almost twice as likely to report a complication and almost 3 times as likely if they also had total hair removal. Only 4% had seen a health care provider for a complication related to hair removal and only 4% discussed safe removal practices with their doctor. ConclusionMinor complications commonly occur as a result of pubic hair removal. Gynecological visits could provide a safe environment for women to discuss pubic hair removal practices.

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