Our expert on ob-gyn issues, answers some of your most frequently asked questions, including care for the hair down there and the skinny on organic tampons.
Q: Should I be using organic tampons?
A: While organic tampons may sound better for the environment, there’s no evidence of that and no proof they’re better for your body. A small amount of synthetic chemicals is used to bleach the cotton in ordinary tampons, while hydrogen peroxide, the same substance used in teeth whiteners, is used in organic tampons. The latter cost a little more. (The same applies for organic tissues and toilet paper.) The best choice? What's most comfortable for you.
Q: Is it healthier or safer to trim my pubic hair?
A: There’s no harm in cutting or trimming your hair, and it won’t affect how quickly or how long it grows. Like your eyebrows, pubic hair doesn’t grow really long. Just use clean scissors (to avoid infections), and watch where you’re snipping. If you shave, use a cream or gel and change your razor after every use. Waxing? Get a friend to recommend a reputable salon. Keep in mind: Waxing and shaving increase the risk of ingrown hairs, which can lead to a painful, itchy, and potentially dangerous infection.
Katharine J. O’Connell, MD, is an assistant clinical professor of ob-gyn at Columbia University.