Why You Shouldn’t Steam Your Vagina, Douche or Remove Your Pubic Hair
Vagina treatments are unnecessary!
Trendy vaginal treatments are marketed to women, but they are unnecessary. Douching and hair removal can be done without entirely– Both of these unnecessary vagina “treatments” can have adverse side effects, and can lead to more harm than if they were not done in the first place. The vagina is a self-cleaning and self-lubricating part of the body. Douching interferes with this natural process and introduces harsh dyes, perfumes, soaps and chemicals to this incredibly sensitive area, disrupting the normal balance of good bacteria that is supposed to be there. This imbalance can lead to irritation and potential infections.
A steaming treatment (essentially a facial for your vulva, not the actual vagina) could actually make you break out or cause irritation from the heat. These negative reactions sometimes happen to women when they get a facial, and it certainly happens to some women when they steam this even more sensitive area! Vagina steaming, comically also referred to as a “vajacial”, is as unnecessary and ridiculous as it sounds and shouldn’t be done.
Pubic hair removal & your health
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In terms of pubic hair removal, women who wax, shave, epilate, tweeze or otherwise remove their pubic hair are leaving tiny microscopic open wounds, making them more susceptible to pathogens. These little cuts or abrasions create an easy opening for bacteria and viruses to enter your body. A slight irony in this situation is that many women remove some or all of their pubic hair prior to having sex with a new partner, leaving them even more prone to contracting a sexually transmitted infection like genital herpes, HPV or syphilis.
Pubic hair is natural; women who are removing their pubic hair are doing so for their own (or, sadly, a shaming partner’s) cosmetic reasons. Pubic hair functions to help reduce friction during sex in two ways– by acting as a barrier between skin-to-skin contact and thereby helping to prevent abrasions, as well as trapping some of the body’s natural lubrication during sex and sexual activities.
How does pubic hair protect the body during sex?
Pubic hair helps to reduce friction during sex in twoways– by acting as a barrier between skin-to-skin contact and thereby helping to prevent abrasions, as well as trapping some of the body’s natural lubrication during sex and sexual activities.
Does pubic hair help protect your body from bacteria, viruses, or infections?
The pubic hair itself is not necessarily protecting bodies from infections caused by bacteria or viruses, however removing the hair (whether via shaving, waxing or tweezing/epilating, etc.) causes tiny microscopic wounds that leave the now bare area more susceptible to pathogens. These cuts or abrasions create an easy opening for bacteria and viruses to enter your body. Some practitioners have noticed that sexually transmitted infections like genital herpes, HPV and syphilis may be contracted more easily in patients who had removed their pubic hair shortly before or after sex. Other infections like staphylococcus and streptococcus are very common in this region as well thanks to little nicks left behind by shaving or other methods of hair removal.
Hair or bare, does it matter?
Stop being ashamed, or allowing your partners to make you feel bad for having pubic hair. It is natural, it serves a few purposes and it is healthy to have hair down there! So long as you are clean, it does not and should not matter –to anyone; doctors, partners, friends, yourself– if you aren’t bare, trimmed or au naturale.
Medically Reviewed by J. Frank Martin JR., MD on October 2, 2018
Author: Nick Corlis
Nick Corlis is a writer, marketer, and designer. He graduated from Texas State University in San Marcos, Texas, with a degree in Digital Communications. Nick is proud to be able to help eliminate the stigma of STD testing through his writing and is always trying to advocate the importance of your sexual health. Before STDcheck, his favorite way to develop his writing skills was by accepting various writing jobs in college and maintaining multiple blogs. Nick wears many hats here at STDcheck, but specifically enjoys writing accurate, well-researched content that is not only informative and relatable but sometimes also contains memes. When not writing, Nick likes to race cars and go-karts, eat Japanese food, and play games on his computer.