According to a new Opinion Way survey, three out of four French women regularly shave their bikini line. But this practice increases the risk of infection, gynecologists warn.
A gesture that many women do regularly without imagining the potential consequences. According to a recent Opinion Way study carried out for Saforelle, three out of four women regularly shave their bikini line, a practice that increases the risk of infection because the pubic hair protects the balance of the vaginal flora and preserves the vulva.
According to a survey of 1,200 women and 200 gynecologists, 65% of women say they remove their hair mainly for their comfort, 56% for hygiene and 41% for aesthetic reasons. Unfortunately, 92% of them noticed that the more they shaved, the greater was the risk of developing irritation or itching.
Health professionals share this observation, as almost one in two doctors say they observe an increase in pathologies related to the partial or total removal of pubic hair. These include simple ingrown hairs, itching or vaginal infections such as mycosis (caused by a yeast fungus, most often Candida Albicans), vaginosis or vaginitis. However, 60% of the women concerned say they do not have the courage to talk to professionals about it. As a result, one in three women interviewed has no solution to alleviate this type of discomfort.
Protective pubic hair
When a pubic hair is removed, whether with a razor, wax or depilatory cream, the sebaceous gland attached to it is destroyed. The latter produces sebum. It is an oily substance composed of fats, designed to protect the skin and keep it elastic. Without the sebaceous gland, the skin is no longer protected. In addition, the water that rises to the surface evaporates very quickly and thus the skin becomes dry, irritable and fragile.
This is why women who remove hair from their vulva are even more vulnerable. The vulva is more easily irritated by contact or friction with panty liners, tight pants or underwear, especially synthetic underwear.
Also, if you absolutely must remove the bikini line to limit the risk of infection and preserve the balance of vaginal flora, choose cotton underwear and avoid wearing tight pants. Also, it is recommended not to wash the inside of the vagina and clean the outside only with a hypoallergenic soap, without using an irritating cloth.
Is there a connection between total body waxing and STIs?
In the past, several studies have shown that women who remove hair from their bikini line have a higher risk of developing sexually transmitted infections. In fact, according to many researchers, pubic hair removal exposes women to potential microtraumas or microcuts which would make them more vulnerable if exposed to a virus or any type of STD.
However, a few months ago, an American study published in the serious journal PLOS Onea contradicted these findings. After following 214 female students, the researchers found no connection between hair removal or pubic hair removal and contracted venereal diseases. Several experts then criticized these findings, insisting in particular on the small size of the cohort.
“What influences the risk of a woman contracting an STD is not so much the way she removes her hair, but a woman who removes all her hair can also do so for hygienic reasons, without having a sex life with multiple partners,” she points out. So we absolutely cannot rely on this study, which undeniably does not show the degree of incidence of hair removal on the risk of STDs,” commented Dr. Odile Bagot a gynecologist and author.