Here's Why You Should Be Extra Cautious Shaving Your Vagina While Pregnant

Shaving pubic hair is a common ritual for many women. But when you're expecting, you may think twice about wielding a blade down there. In general, can you shave your vagina when pregnant, or is au naturel the way to go now? Keeping some precautions in mind may be worthwhile.

For starters, shaving in general does present some risks, pregnant or not. It actually creates an environment that is more conducive to potential health problems. In fact, shaving often leaves tiny cuts in the skin, and it can also create irritation or inflammation for the hair follicles, according to The Independent. (Tell that to all the ladies who groom their pubic area because it feels cleaner — ok, for vanity reasons too.) And irritation isn't the only potential problem. These microscopic cuts from shaving can let infection in, and anything from staph bacteria to hepatitis can hang out on a damp razor, noted WebMD. If you're extra cautious about avoiding infections during your pregnancy, then it may be time to consider a different method of hair removal, but we doubt you'll find one that's less painful.

If shaving is still your preferred way to maintain hair down there, then keep the razor sanitary with some basic hygiene practices. Sharing your razor means exposure to someone else's bacteria, so be selfish with shaving and never share blades, according to Cosmopolitan. Even a spouse or close family member could leave you at risk for infection, so keep your razor to yourself. In addition, fully drying your razor after every use can make it less inviting to bacteria, as noted in GQ. For extra caution, you can even do a final rinse of the razor blade with a bit of rubbing alcohol for a little more sanitization. Overall, though, by using a clean razor that no one else touches, you can get a safer shave.

Next, physically maneuvering around the bump can get tricky in the later stages of pregnancy. How can you shave what you can't see? To get around the baby obstacle, some pregnant women use an extendable razor, shave while lying down in the tub, or enlist the help of a willing partner, according to Trimester Talk. Of course, you may want to use extra caution around your sensitive parts at this time. But determined shavers can find a way to take care of business, even if it involves some major stretching and a no-fog mirror.

In addition, you may want to consider alternative temporary methods of hair removal. Getting a bikini wax while pregnant is generally safe, although the increased blood flow during pregnancy may make the removal process more painful than usual. If you're not already a veteran waxer, then this may not be the best time to start. Using an epilator is another hair removal option, but according to most sources, this is a terribly painful procedure. In fact, using an epilator on the bikini area is only recommended for people with a high pain tolerance, according to Good Epilator. Although it may be safe to epilate your bikini area during a pregnancy, it looks like this option is almost guaranteed to hurt like hell, and any unnecessary discomfort or pain is probably the last thing you need right now. Lastly, there's the option of depilatory creams, but these appear to have mixed reviews about their safety. If you want to use a depilatory cream on your bikini area during pregnancy, then discuss the option with your doctor first. This is not the time to risk chemical burns on your privates. Yikes.

Oh, and if you'd rather just say to heck with it? That's cool, too. There's no medical reason to shave during pregnancy. If the staff at your hospital needs you to be clean-shaven for the delivery, they will do the job themselves. Whether you want to keep on razoring or embrace the lady garden for those last few weeks, the choice is yours.

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