Women have been warned against completely shaving hair that grows around their groin area.
Dr Ignatius Kibe, a gynecologist with cervical health expertise, says that completely shaving hair within the groin and cervical area might lead to infections.
He says that women should just trim their hair if they have to, as they may grow longer and become a nuisance.
"Shaving hair around the genital area is risky and increases the chances of one attracting infection. Take for instance, when taking a bath, all dirt including harmful bacteria and or fungi that may be washed off from the head or the upper body, flow with the water to your groin area, and may attach there and grow, and that may just be the birth of a couple of infections," he explains to K24 Digital.
He adds that in the groin area, hair provides protection and reduces friction, as it plays a role in trapping and dispersing pheromones, which are chemicals that can influence social and sexual behavior.
In addition, women are highly discouraged from inserting objects including food items like garlic, lemons or avocados, in the cervix, in an attempt to cure foul smell from unusual discharge. Instead, they are advised to have those foods in their diet and seek medical attention.
“Foods like lemons, tomatoes, avocadoes, and garlic are better eaten raw. Even though garlic might leave an unpleasant smell in the mouth, it works great for your cervix, while processed foods and too much sugar are not the best. Also, all types of greens, eggs, and kienyenji chicken are great food even to men; they boost their libido too,” Dr Ignatius says.
Dr Ignatius was speaking to K24 Digital with regards to cervical health, a matter addressed by the World Health Organization (WHO) in January every year.
The month is commemorated in the quest to reduce the cases of the ever-rising cervical cancer numbers, and for that, women are encouraged to have regular screenings, such as Pap smears or Pap tests that are crucial for detecting abnormal cervical cells or early signs of cervical cancer.
Young girls between the ages of nine and 13 are also required to get vaccinated with the Human Papillomavirus vaccination (HPV) which helps prevent certain strains of the virus that can lead to cervical cancer.
He says that even though the Human Papilloma Virus can stay in the human body for up to twenty years, it is also named among infections that are usually sexually transmitted.
So, he advises that practicing safe sex, using condoms, and having few sexual partners can reduce the risk of HPV and other sexually transmitted infections.
"Men are the vectors of the HPV hence women are encouraged to have faithful partners. A man with the virus, and sexually engages with multiple women will distribute the virus to all of them, adding to the statistics of those who get infected every day,” Kibe says.
For this, he encourages women to at least get an annual screening for cancer. "January is the cervical health awareness month whose aim is to increase awareness on cervical cancer, and most health facilities offer free screening services; please take advantage of that," he adds.
His sentiments are echoed by Dr Ngechu Wambui, who reveals that some of the telling signs of cervical cancer are heavy bleeding, intense lower back pains, itching on the cervix, and pain while having sex.
"Pelvic pain, excessive cramping, and unusual discharge are some of the signs to watch out for," Wambui explains.
Furthermore, dermatologists explain that every hair that grows on different body parts of a human being was designed to be there, mostly to protect the areas within which it grows.
According to Dr Alice Waweru, a dermatology and venereology officer, hair on the human skin has specified purposes depending on the area on which the hair grows.
For instance, hair on the scalp protects from UV radiation and helps regulate temperature by preventing heat loss, while eyelashes and eyebrows help protect the eyes from dust, debris, and sunlight.
"Whether it's the eyebrows and lashes, on your scalp, everywhere the hair grows, be sure it has its purpose," Alice says.
This is in addition to the general skin protection purpose where hair acts as insulation, helping to regulate body temperature by trapping and preserving heat.
Alice adds that hair acts as an evaporation control, since sweat travels along hair strands, contributing to the cooling of the body through evaporation.