The mons pubis is a pad of fatty tissue that covers the pubic bone. It’s sometimes referred to as the mons, or the mons veneris in females. While both sexes have a mons pubis, it’s more prominent in females.

Read on to learn more about the anatomy of the mons pubis, as well as the possible causes of pain or bumps in the area.

The mons pubis is located over the pubic bone and the pubic symphysis joint. The pubic bone is one of the three parts of the hip bone. It’s also the frontmost facing portion of the hip bone. The pubic symphysis joint is where the pubic bones of the left and right hips join together.

The mons pubis is made up of fatty tissue. It’s shaped like an upside-down triangle, extending from the top of the public hairline to the genitals. It extends from the top of the pubic hairline to the clitoris.

During puberty, the mons pubis becomes covered in pubic hair. It also contains glands that begin secreting pheromones. These are substances involved in sexual attraction.

Symphysis pubis dysfunction

Symphysis pubis dysfunction (SPD) occurs when the symphysis joint of the pelvis becomes too relaxed, leading to pain in the pelvic girdle. It tends to happen during pregnancy.

The main symptom of SPD is pain. It can be felt as a shooting, burning, or grinding sensation. This pain might be felt:

  • over the pubic bone
  • between the vagina and anus
  • on one or both sides of the lower back
  • radiating into the thighs

SPD can also make it hard to:

  • walk around
  • lift objects
  • move the legs apart

While SPD tends to occur more during pregnancy, it doesn’t always have a clear cause. In these cases, it may be related to instability of the pelvic girdle.

The following factors can also increase your risk for developing SPD:

  • a history of pelvic pain
  • previous damage or injury to the pelvis
  • having experienced SPD during a previous pregnancy
  • working a job that’s very physically demanding

Treating SPD often involves a combination of rest and physical therapy to help strengthen the pelvic floor.

Osteitis pubis

Osteitis pubis is an inflammation of the symphysis joint of the pelvis, which sits under the mons pubis. It often occurs in athletes, but can occur in nonathletes as well.

The main symptom of osteitis pubis is pain in the pubic or groin area. It often radiates to the thighs. This pain may come on gradually or suddenly.

Some causes of osteitis pubis include:

  • overuse of or stress to the pubic area
  • pregnancy or childbirth
  • injury or damage to the pubic area
  • a urological or gynecological procedure

Similar to SPD, osteitis pubis is usually treated with rest, followed by gentle strengthening exercises. Anti-inflammatory medications, includingnonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) or corticosteroid injections, can also help manage inflammation.

Boils

A boil is a painful, pus-filled lump that forms under the skin. They’re caused by bacteria entering the skin through an open wound or cut. While boils can occur anywhere, they’re more common in hair areas, such as the mons pubis.

Boils look like deep, red bumps under the skin. They may grow in size over the course of a few days as they fill with pus. Eventually, they’ll develop a white or yellow tip, similar to that of a pimple. This will eventually break, allowing the pus to drain out of the boil.

While small boils often resolve on their own, your doctor may need to drain larger boils.

Cyst

A cyst is a saclike area within a tissue. Cysts are typically noncancerous and can be filled with a variety of things, including fluid, tissue, or bone. They can occur anywhere in or on the body.

Cysts can occur due to a variety of reasons, including:

  • infections
  • injury
  • clogged gland

The symptoms of a cyst can vary depending on the type of cyst and its location. Most appear as a slow-growing bump. Over time, they may become tender or painful.

Similar to boils, smaller cysts may go away on their own. Your doctor may need to surgically remove or drain larger ones.

Ingrown hair

An ingrown hair refers to a hair that’s growing back into the skin, usually after being shaved or tweezed. People who remove their pubic hair are particularly prone to ingrown hairs.

The symptoms of an ingrown hair can include:

  • small, solid or pus-filled bumps
  • pain
  • itching
  • skin darkening of the affected area

Avoid shaving or tweezing the affected area to treat ingrown hairs. Eventually, the hair will work its way out of the skin. In some cases, the hair can be teased out using tweezers or a sterile needle. In more severe cases, your doctor may prescribe an exfoliating or anti-inflammatory ointment.

Folliculitis

Folliculitis refers to inflammation of hair follicles. A bacterial or fungal infection is typically the cause. Because the mons pubis is covered in pubic hair, it’s more vulnerable to folliculitis.

Common folliculitis symptoms include:

  • small red bumps or pimples that appear in clusters
  • tender or painful skin
  • itchiness
  • a burning sensation on the skin
  • a larger, swollen lump under the skin

Some common behaviors that can increase your risk for developing folliculitis include:

  • wearing tight clothing that traps sweat or heat
  • using a poorly maintained hot tub
  • damaging hair follicles through waxing or shaving

Most cases of folliculitis will go away on their own after a few days. Applying warm compresses or soothing lotions or ointments can help ease skin irritation.

If the folliculitis is widespread or lasts longer than a few days, a doctor’s visit may be necessary. They can prescribe an antibiotic or antifungal cream to help clear up any underlying infection.

In recent years, a procedure called monsplasty has become increasingly common, especially among women. This surgery involves removing extra skin or fat from the mons pubis to reduce its size.

There are several approaches depending on the type of tissue being removed. Some techniques involve removing extra skin. Others use liposuction to remove excess fat.

Regardless of the approach used, monsplasty carries the same risks as other types of surgery, including infection, bleeding, and scarring.

The mons pubis is an area of fatty tissue that covers the pubic bone in both males and females, though it tends to be more prominent in females. It plays an important role in secreting pheromones responsible for sexual attraction.