How well do you know your pubes?
Call it your magic carpet. Your bush. Your happy trail. There are plenty of names for pubic hair and plenty of rumors about your lady drapes, too. We turned to the experts to separate fact from fiction when it comes to the land down under.
Reality: Actually, quite the opposite. Pubic hair acts as a breeding ground for bacteria. “There’s no question that being hair-free in that area is cleaner simply because of the fact that the hair does provide bacteria,” says Wendy Askew, M.D., an ob-gyn with the Institute for Women’s Health in San Antonio. While researchers haven’t studied germs in pubic hair specifically, studies have shown alarming amounts of bacteria in Duck Dynasty-style beards, says Askew.
Still, many women incorrectly assume pubic hair protects them from genital warts and STDs that result from skin-to-skin contact. “Pubic hair alone is not sufficient enough to protect against STDs,” says Sejal Shah, M.D., a New York City dermatologist and RealSelf contributor. In fact, it could help the virus thrive. A Chinese study concluded HPV present in a man’s pubic hair could lead to HPV-related issues in their female partners.