Anyone can get pubic lice, and getting a diagnosis has nothing to do with your cleanliness or hygiene. (8) Infestations of pubic lice are found worldwide and occur in all races, ethnicities, and socioeconomic levels. (1)

What You Should Know About Pubic Lice

It’s estimated that 3 million cases of pubic lice are diagnosed in the United States every year. The vast majority of these cases arise through sexual contact, when lice move from the pubic hair of one person to the pubic hair of another. It’s important to note that sexual intercourse is not the only way to transmit or become infested by pubic lice — transmission can happen through contact alone.

In addition, it’s rare but possible to acquire pubic lice from sharing clothing, bed linens, or towels with a person who has an active pubic lice infestation. (8) But it’s a myth that you can get pubic lice by sitting on a toilet seat. (Pubic lice require a warm human body to survive and have no feet to walk on a toilet seat.) (1)

Dogs, cats, and other animals play no role in the transmission of pubic lice. (9)