Pubic hair loss is a condition that affects many of us, although it's something we tend not to discuss!
This page will help you determine whether what you're experiencing is considered 'normal' or if there might be cause for concern.
Please note: this information should NOT be seen as medical advice. It's always important to speak to a qualified medical professional if you have ANY concerns about hair loss or your health in general.
After years of faithfully shaving, waxing or otherwise manicuring the 'lady garden' (a rather charming euphemism, don't you think?), some women find it something of a relief as their pubic hair becomes sparser.
For others, though, this hair loss can be traumatic. Yet another sign of the advancing years, it can leave us feeling less attractive to our partners, less 'womanly'.
And some women actually feel quite embarrassed by the extra 'visibility' of the genital area, which was previously rather well hidden.
Unfortunately, though, pubic hair DOES tend to thin with age, and although it's a topic rarely discussed socially, it's an issue affecting PLENTY of women if the comments on online forums are anything to go by.
In addition to thinning, another sad fact is that pubic hair tends to gray, just like the hair on your head.
There is little that can be done about either issue (although I do have a couple of tips below) but the important thing to realize is that age-related pubic hair loss DOES exist and is totally natural.
That being said, COMPLETE loss of pubic hair - even at an advanced age - is not considered to be typical.
This research – carried out some time ago but only recently published – studied 189 women over the age of 60 years. Results showed that one third of these women had a 'detectable' loss of pubic hair, but that only 5 had complete pubic hair loss.
The conclusion drawn from this research was that total hair loss should be investigated, even in older women.
This is a condition where the pituitary gland stops producing enough of some of its hormones. Specific hormones have specific functions in the body, so if not enough of a particular hormone is being produced, the organ or gland that particular hormone controls will be affected.
One example is the thyroid gland, which does not function properly when the amount of a hormone called TSH produced by the body is inadequate. (You can learn more about the connection between the thyroid gland and hair loss here).
Hypopituitarism can cause other symptoms, including general hair loss, loss of armpit hair, abdominal pain, weight loss, fatigue, dizziness and stiffness in the joints.
It has a range of causes and needs proper diagnosis and treatment, so it's important you speak to your doctor if you suspect hypopituitarism may be affecting you.
This condition can lead to pubic hair loss, along with the loss of armpit hair and a lowered libido.
Also known as adrenal insufficiency, it's caused by a decrease in the production of hormones by the adrenal glands (the glands located on the top of your kidneys).
Again, this is a problem that can be diagnosed by your doctor.
Before you rule this out as a cause, it's important to be aware that cirrhosis of the liver is not only caused by alcohol abuse, but can also be an inherited condition (caused by poorly formed bile ducts, for example), or triggered by other factors, such as hepatitis B or C, a build-up of fat in the liver, or even infection.
With cirrhosis of the liver, pubic hair loss is often accompanied by axillary hair loss (loss of armpit hair).
It's unlikely, but possible.
Alopecia areata tends to cause round patches on the scalp, and whereas there IS a type of alopecia that affects body hair – known as alopecia universalis – it tends to affect ALL body hair, not just the pubic region.
Another type of hair loss that occasionally causes pubic hair loss is frontal fibrosing-alopecia.
As always, it's important to discuss any potential causes with your doctor.
First, speak to your doctor to establish the cause.
If you're satisfied that the condition is related to your age, then try to accept it. If the remaining hair is graying, you might find you will feel better if you can – at least – fix that problem!
DON'T use hair dye – it's way too harsh. Either have the hair dyed at a reputable salon, or try THIS clever fix shared by a visitor to this website…
Apply a sunless tanning gel to the affected area and after a couple of applications, the grey hair should look golden brown. (If you are worried about sensitivity issues, you may wish to run this by your doctor first).
Finally, make sure you're eating all the right foods. Whilst it is it's extremely unlikely that poor nutrition is causing your pubic hair loss, it certainly doesn't do any harm to eat the foods most likely to promote healthy hair growth.