Home' LOTL : August 2004 Contents HEALTH
Q My new girl has very hairy nipples. I have never seen this before
and wonder what causes it? I am trying to find a gentle way to
suggest she lose the hair. Please advise.
A Body hair varies greatly from person to person and among different ethnic groups.
For example, Caucasians have more hair follicles than Asians, and people from the
Mediterranean have more than those from Northern Europe. Men and women have the
same number and distribution of hair follicles, but varying amounts of male and female
hormones determine just how much hair we grow. Different cultural groups feel strongly
for or against body hair, so how you feel about it may be simply a product of your
upbringing or your susceptibility to media. Coarse, dark hairs around the nipple are
quite common in women and nothing to worry about unless there is excess hairiness on
other parts of the body. That, combined with irregular periods, could point to polycystic
ovary syndrome (PCOS). Chances are, if your girlfriend hasn't done anything about it
and isn't hiding her hairy nipples from you, it doesn't worry her. If that's the case, you
might just have to get over it. Body hair can be a sensitive political issue for some
lesbians. If you must bring it up, start generally and test the water gradually. If she does
show some interest in losing the hair there are lots of choices: tweezing, trimming,
bleaching, plucking, waxing, electrolysis and laser therapy are all possible. The least
painful option is to simply cut them off close to the skin.
Q My girlfriend and I are discussing which one of us could carry a
baby to term better because of our body shapes (sizes of hips, pelvises
and vaginas). Does physiology play a part in who is better suited?
A Unless one of you has had a pelvic injury in the past or is particularly petite (shorter
than 150 cm), it shouldn't matter. Injuries like pelvic fractures can cause permanent
deformity of the pelvic outlet which prevent a normal vaginal delivery. If the mother is
particularly small in contrast to a very tall father, the baby may be disproportionately
large. However, all these problems can be safely overcome with Caesarean sections
these days. Other things to consider are the general health of the mother-to-be and
whether she has any personal or family history of inherited diseases. After that,
probably the most important question is which of you is the most maternal and wants
to go through the whole insemination and pregnancy process most? If your relationship
breaks down at some future point it is most likely going to be the biological mother
who remains the child's main carer. And on the other hand, also consider which
of you will cope best with the trials of being the 'non-biological' mother who is
often not recognised either legally or socially as a 'real parent'. If you need more
help or information try the Prospective Lesbian Parents Victoria (PLP) website
LOTL'S health columnist is a lesbian GP on the NSW north coast.
The opinions expressed in this column are those of the author and
are not intended as a substitute for medical advice. If you have
concerns about your health please consult your health practitioner.
... PROBABLY THE MOST IMPORTANT QUESTION IS
WHICH OF YOU IS THE MOST MATERNAL AND
WANTS TO GO THROUGH THE WHOLE
INSEMINATION AND PREGNANCY PROCESS MOST?
COARSE, DARK HAIRS AROUND THE NIPPLE ARE QUITE
COMMON IN WOMEN AND NOTHING TO WORRY
ABOUT UNLESS THERE IS EXCESS HAIRINESS ON
OTHER PARTS OF THE BODY.
6TH ANNUAL CONFERENCE
To be held from 24--26 September 2004;
Leura, Blue Mountains, NSW.
This year's theme is Moving Mountains, and
issues will include lesbian health and
partnerships, and dealing with discrimination.
All lesbian doctors, medical students and their
partners are invited to register.
Conference program and application
forms are now available.
For further information, ring Dr Ruth McNair
on 0419 120 663 or see www.almas.net.au
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