When you are pregnant, you may experience a variety of bodily changes like accelerated hair growth. These changes stem from an increased production of pregnancy hormones (estrogen, progesterone and human chorionic gonadotropin (HCG). As your pregnancy progresses and your stomach expands; it can become increasingly difficult to shave certain areas of the body. Although this can be frustrating – it is quite normal. Treatments like laser hair removal are available for women who do not want the hassle of trying to shave challenging and/or unreachable areas. If you are wondering if laser hair removal is safe for pregnant women – you have come to the right place. This article will provide you with all of the information you need to know on pregnancy and laser hair removal treatments.
How do laser hair removal treatments work?
During laser hair removal treatments, a medical professional (physician, dermatologist or technician) uses a handheld instrument to send concentrated amounts of light into your hair follicles. These powerful light waves destroy your hair follicles, eliminating excess hair. In other words, laser hair removal treatments work by targeting your dark hair pigments in an effort to thermally damage your hair follicles. Although this type of treatment has shown success when removing excess hair from the body, it is unknown, at this time, if multiple laser hair removal treatments will cause permanent hair reduction.
How long does this type of treatment last?
Laser hair removal typically lasts between 6 and 24 months, depending on several factors such as: your hair growth rate, the texture of your hair and the number of previous treatments. Physicians, scientists and researchers have indicated that multiple laser hair removal treatments can lead to long-term and/or permanent hair loss, but the verdict is still out. In addition, you will more than likely need at least six treatments when you first begin the hair removal process. To avoid hair re-growth, your treatments will need to be scheduled every 6 weeks (until all of the excess hair has been removed). Once you have achieved the desired results, you will still need to schedule regular treatment sessions to prevent hair re-growth.
How beneficial is laser hair removal?
Laser hair removal can be very beneficial, especially for women with dark and coarse hair. In some cases, this type of treatment can provide long-term and/or permanent hair reduction. It can also lighten hair color, alter hair texture and/or delay hair re-growth, which is especially beneficial if you are pregnant and have a hard time shaving certain areas of your body (i.e. lower legs, back and genital area).
How safe is laser hair removal during pregnancy?
Truthfully, it is unknown how safe laser hair removal is during pregnancy, but some medical professionals believe that it is ok to use laser hair removal treatments when pregnant, as long as you are not in your third trimester of pregnancy. If this type of treatment is performed on a pregnant woman during later pregnancy, the laser may penetrate the womb and affect the development of the baby. In addition, using laser hair removal treatments during pregnancy can lead to serious side-effects like: skin pigmentation, severe burns, uneven hair re-growth and/or painful skin lesions.
As a way to monitor the use of laser removal during pregnancy, some medical professionals will not perform this service without prior authorization from an obstetrician. It is important to note that laser hair removal treatments are not as effective on women who have red, grey or blond hair, as it is on women with dark hair. It is also advised to proceed with caution if you have an olive, tan or darker skin tone because it can lead to skin discoloration. It is imperative that you contact your physician before having laser removal during pregnancy.
American Pregnancy Association. (2014). Laser hair removal and pregnancy. Retrieved from http://americanpregnancy.org/pregnancyhealth/hairremoval.htm
Mayo Clinic. (2014). Laser hair removal. Retrieved from http://www.mayoclinic.org/tests- procedures/laser-hair-removal/basics/why-its-done/PRC-20019438