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People usually know they have pubic lice by having itching and seeing the tiny crabs. But a nurse or doctor can tell you for sure what’s going on.

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How do I know if I have pubic lice?

Usually, people figure out on their own that they have pubic lice. You can sometimes see the little crabs in your genital area and/or their eggs (nits) stuck to the base of your pubic hair. It may be hard to find the lice or eggs, because there might not be that many and they’re super small. Using a magnifying glass can help, or a nurse or doctor can look for them with a microscope.

You can still have pubic lice even if you don’t see any crabs or eggs. If you’re itching a lot or you just think you might have crabs, it’s a good idea to get checked out by a nurse or doctor. If someone you had sex with in the past month has crabs, it’s not a bad idea to get the medicine from the drugstore and use it on yourself to be safe.

If you think you might have pubic lice, try not to freak out. Crabs aren’t dangerous, and they’re pretty easily cured with over-the-counter treatments.

Where can I get checked for pubic lice?

You can get tested for crabs (and other STDs) at your doctor’s office, a community health clinic, the health department, or your local Planned Parenthood health center. If you’re itching and uncomfortable, the sooner you get in and get pubic lice treatment, the sooner you’ll feel better.

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