VCH Piercing Concerns

I received a message from a woman who was concerned about her VCH Piercing:

Hi Elayne, VCH with short jewelry

While I was traveling, I recently went to a studio you recommended. The piercer you suggested wasn't at the shop when I went in, but it was the last day I was in in town, so I let one of his co-workers do it.

The piercer used a 14-gauge, 7/16-inch curved barbell.  I know it is probably fine, but I'm a little concerned about the placement.  The inferior ball is retreating far up the hood, and I have to tug for a bit at the tissue to see it.  I'm worried that the ball might become pulled into the wound if I leave it there for the 6 weeks needed to heal--it's a tight fit.  Did the piercer go too far up the hood, or use a barbell that's too short?  Or is it ok for now? A.


My reply:

Hi A.,

The placement of the piercing looks fine, but the bar definitely looks too short. For optimal safety, the jewelry should fit as shown on my page: http://piercingbible.com/female-genital-piercings#VCH

Is there a local studio you might be able to go to in order to get your jewelry changed?

Something you might want to try to see is how the tissue fits when the area is at rest in its natural position. That is, can you peek under your hood to see if any of the bar is exposed underneath? Usually the hood is thin enough that even if the ball doesn't show, there's still some extra room. With your hood pulled back, the skin bunches up and it looks quite different. Just a thought.... But if you can't see any post and the ball rests right up against the tissue underneath, you really need to have it changed out ASAP.

She wrote back:

I examined the area again.  When I peek under the hood without doing any pulling, I can see the entire bottom ball.  If I pull up a little on the hood, I see about 1 mm of the bar, and if I push down on the top ball, I can see 2-3 mm of the bar.

The tissue that was pierced at the top seems thick.  I think what happened was that the piercer drove the needle down through maybe 5-6 mm of non-hood tissue before reaching the apex of the clitoral hood, where the bottom ball is resting.  (I attached your diagram to show you what I mean.)  I could be getting it wrong, or maybe the small difference in placement is inconsequential.  If not, would I have a longer healing time than usual, since it might not be through the "hood"?

I found a referral for William Spencer in St. Louis, MO on your website, so I will probably go to him if you think it's necessary.  I'm a little nervous about letting someone mess with an unhealed piercing.  What if I were to check the bar's placement every day for the next 5 weeks until I can change it myself?  Bad idea?

Thanks again,
A.

My next response:

I'd highly suggest you see Will or Courtney at Cheap TRX in St. Louis. They'll definitely be able to change your jewelry safely and to let you know whether your placement is appropriate.

If the natural apex is at least 3/8"-7/16" from the edge of the hood, it is not generally desirable to pierce further away from the edge of the hood than necessary--it does place the piercing through additional tissue without any particular benefit (and likely a longer healing time, too). But once you get jewelry sized properly, I don't think you should have trouble healing--and you already have the hole, so you might as well see about healing what you've already got.

Sincerely,
Elayne