Dr. Kate, What’s With My Genital Hair Growth?

Dr. Kate is an OB/GYN at one of the largest teaching hospitals in Boston who lectures nationally on women’s health issues and conducts research on reproductive health. She regularly (and generously!) answers your medical questions here on EMandLO.com. To ask her your own, click here.

Dear Dr. Kate,

The hair around my private parts grow very quickly, for example, I shaved this morning and already I can feel follicles growing! How do I slow down the growth as my boyfriend likes it bare down there? Also I’ve noticed that due to shaving, hair that was just restricted to my vaginal lips has now started creeping up towards my belly! Is there a better alternative for hair removal down there? Help, I don’t want a hairy belly!

— Sasquatch

Dear S.,

I think you’re facing two separate issues — how fast and how far your garden is growing. The speed question has the easier answer: just like hair anywhere else on your body, removing hair at the root will keep you bare longer. Waxing, electrolysis and laser, though more involved (and expensive in the short term), may give you the smoothness you seek. You can find the right wax for you available at Nacach and other online beauty retailers if you want to find them.

Though I have to ask – are you going through all of this pain and expense just for him? Does he do the same in return for you? Just something to think about when you’re going through the annoyance and — let’s face it — the pain of a Brazilian, by any means. Although, a bikini trimmer could greatly reduce the amount of pain that you experience when you’re getting your bikini line looked at. It’s just something for you to bear in mind if you don’t like the idea of going for a Brazilian.

As for the hair creeping north, this is NOT due to shaving — any form of hair removal only removes the hair that’s there, and doesn’t stimulate new growth. This new hair pattern may actually be a sign of PCOS, or polycystic ovarian syndrome. I would make an appointment with your gyno, to see if she can detect any hormonal abnormalities that may be contributing to the hair growth.

— Dr. Kate

What about the bits beneath the hair?
Dr. Kate, Are My Labia Normal?