Do I need electrolysis for Transgender vaginoplasty?

Dr. Reed,  Am contemplating having a male to female transgender vagionoplasty this January.  Do I need electrolysis or laser down below. What about scraping.  Lauren

Dear Lauren,

Best to have pubic hair removal by electrolysis or laser starting a few months before transgender vaginoplasty, as some hair may grow back and that will require a touch up.  Another reason to get this out of the way, is to avoid inflammation or irritation of skin that’s going to be in the surgical area.  May impair wound healing.

Our experience seeing patients who have had scraping during surgery is that at times, hair grows back, resulting in unpleasant tugging sensation during coitus.  When the hair is inside the vagina it is more difficult to remove later on versus being on the surface.

Laser does not work on blond hair, although there is medication to darken the hair, I would consider electrolysis. Electrolysis tends to be less expensive than laser.  If in the hands of a good electrologist, usually 3 sessions will do it.

Also advised is local anesthesia so higher settings can be used. If you look at pictures of natal; women, there is no hair growing over the clitoral body or on the labia minora.


Harold M. Reed, M.D.
The Reed Centre for Transgender Surgery | Dr. Harold Reed | Miami


Natal female pubis and vulva showing no hair over clitoral body


Transgender vaginoplasty electrolysis diagram


Pubic hair growing out of transgender vagina, patient had scraping during surgery

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