Complications From Female Genital Piercing

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Professional piercers perform female genital piercings with sterile, hollow needles.

Female genital piercings are completely safe if performed by a licensed, professional body piercer. Choose an experienced piercer you feel comfortable with discussing the procedure and options for your anatomy. Most female genital piercings take six to eight weeks to heal. Issues during healing are possible if you disregard the cleaning and care guidelines provided by your piercer.


Ripping or Tearing

A female genital piercing can be ripped or torn during the healing process and after it has healed. Rips or tears to the piercing mostly occur during the healing process, while the piercing channel is still forming. Vigorous sexual activity can cause a rip or tear of the piercing channel. In worst cases, the jewelry in the genital piercing is torn out of the skin.


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Female genital piercings have less chance of ripping or tearing if your sexual partner practices caution when in contact with the piercing.

If your genital piercing hurts or you feel a ripping sensation during intercourse, changing positions or stopping can alleviate pain or prevent ripping.



Infections are possible with female genital piercings if poor aftercare is executed during healing, if intercourse or oral sex is unprotected or if you allow a non-professional to perform the genital piercing.


Touching the piercing with unwashed hands and neglecting to clean the genital piercing can result in bacterial infections. Even when in a monogamous relationship, condoms and dental dams are necessary to protect yourself during the healing period. Bacteria from your partner's skin and fluids can cause an infection.


A non-professional using dirty needles and instruments that are not sterile or are improperly sterilized can lead to transmission of diseases like hepatitis C.

Nerve Damage

Nerve damage can occur in a female genital piercing if performed by a novice piercer or a non-professional. If the piercer does not possess an educational background in anatomy, the risk of nerve damage is high. For example, clients commonly refer to a hood piercing—the flap of tissue that covers the clitoris—as a clitoris piercing. If a non-professional does not know how to explain to the client the difference between the two piercings and is unaware of correct placement, nerves can be severed during the procedure.



Migration is possible in female genital piercings. Although a relatively painless process, migration leaves you with scarring and no jewelry or piercing. During migration, your body rejects the jewelry and pushes the jewelry out of the piercing. Migration occurs in female genital piercing when the piercing is performed too shallowly, with the jewelry too close to the edge of the body part. For example, hood piercings are placed at the top of the hood, but an inexperienced piercer may place the jewelry in the middle or at the bottom. In an inner or outer labia piercing, a heavy piece of jewelry, such as a captive bead ring, may speed up the process of migration when the piercing is placed near the edge of the labia.



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