There is actually some debate on whether or not pregnant women can safely receive laser hair removal treatments. Because there have been no official studies about laser hair removal during pregnancy, doctors generally recommend that pregnant women stay away from the process due to the possible effects it may have on their fetus. If a woman wants to pursue treatments anyway, they must consult their OBGYN and dermatologist concerning the potential effects.
The Laser Hair Removal Debate
There are no studies that have evaluated the safety of laser hair removal for pregnant women. The Health Physics Society, specializing in radiation safety reports that laser hair removal is completely safe and harmless to the fetus because it only pierces a few millimeters of skin. However, The American Pregnancy Association advises people who are at higher risk for injury, or who are pregnant, not to undergo any treatments that have not been thoroughly tested. There have been studies performed on something called radiofrequency radiation and its effects on pregnant women. Radiofrequency radiation is part of the laser hair removal process.
If hair removal treatments are performed on a woman who is pregnant, they should be sure to avoid the breasts in the last trimester if they intend to breastfeed, as there have been no conclusive studies done on the radiation effects of laser treatments.
Alternatives for Hair Removal
Because many women don’t want to grow their pubic or leg hair, even though they can’t see them, try these baby-safe alternatives:
Shaving: Shaving is the easiest alternative for temporary hair removal. Depending on the trimester, this procedure may require assistance.
Waxing: While waxing can sometimes be a painful experience, once it is finished, a person doesn’t have to worry about shaving or the hair growing back for another 4-6 weeks.
American Pregnancy Association. Hair Removal During Pregnancy. http://www.americanpregnancy.org/pregnancyhealth/hairremoval.htm. March 2007.
Jacob, Ninni. Pregnancy and Radiation. http://www.hps.org/publicinformation/ate/q2921.html. 12 September, 2003.
Classic, Kelly. Pregnancy and Radiation. http://hps.org/pullicinformation/ate/q2782.html. 31 July, 2003.
Brent, Robert. Pregnancy and Radiation. http://hps.org/publicinformation/ate/q1830.html. 17 April, 2002.