So, You're Pregnant & Want To Shave Your Vagina...

Illustration by Louisa Cannell
"Do you have any idea how hard it is to shave your vagina when you can't even see it?" my friend, in her eighth month of pregnancy, practically shouted at me over dinner last month. I'm currently sitting at the single table in life these days, so my answer was no, but the question got me thinking: Can you? Or, more importantly, can you... safely?
In short, yes. Pregnancy causes a spike in hormones that kicks your hair growth cycle into overdrive, so you're getting more by week 20 than ever. Removing it, whether you're carrying a human in your fetus or not, is just a matter of preference. And while you could wax, the extra blood flow and swelling in the area makes your skin super-sensitive to pain. There's always the idea of asking for a helping hand from a friend or your S.O., which is all good if you're comfortable, but a pretty damn vulnerable position to be in for a lot of us.
The fact is, shaving is just more convenient to do while pregnant, and it's safe — provided you take extra care and barring some kind of extenuating health complication. "It's not a situation like smoking, where we say absolutely no smoking during pregnancy," says Donnica Moore, MD, physician and host of the podcast In The Ladies' Room with Dr. Donnica. "The risks are small."
So if you're up for the task, keep this guide handy. You already have a gazillion other things to worry about during this special time in your life — figuring out how to maneuver around your belly with a sharp razor to your nether regions without making a slasher movie out of it shouldn't be one of them.