VCH and Childbirth

I received a message from a woman who was considering a VCH piercing but had questions about wearing jewelry during childbirth:

Hi Elayne.

For the bridal shower of my wedding one of my best friends raised money for me to get my VCH done. I had been thinking about it for awhile. I have had one child and do not get the same sensation now as I did before having my child during sex. Well its almost a year after my wedding and still no piercing. I am one of those that needs extensive research before committing to anything. Anyways my question relates to childbirth. I want to know if I would have to take out my piercing for childbirth, and if I do have to would it close up? Would I have to get it pierced again? I want to have more children. And I really want to know before I commit to this piercing if having more children will mean getting this piercing more than once. Any feedback will be appreciated, as I have not found anything helpful from Google. Thank you in advance.

My response:

Hi.

Thanks for your message. This is from my book, The Piercing Bible--The Definitive Guide to Safe Body Piercing:

Genital Jewelry

Some women deliver babies with genital jewelry in place without experiencing adverse consequences. However, it is prudent to remove all metal jewelry from genital piercings prior to childbirth to avoid the possibility of tearing the piercing or causing trauma to the baby during birth. It is improbable that piercings of the hood (HCH, VCH, or triangle) could cause problems; labia piercings are more apt to get in the way. Talk to your doctor or midwife about their policy on piercings so that you can be prepared when delivery day arrives. If you intend to wear a genital piercing during childbirth, it should be small enough to avoid catching or interference, but large enough to accommodate engorgement and local swelling. Depending on hospital policy, you may be able to leave genital jewelry in place if a caesarean section is planned.

If you do plan to remove your jewelry, I strongly suggest wearing a non-metallic retainer such as a PTFE barbell to keep the hole open. It is possible for piercings to shrink and close quickly.

When the time comes, I'd be delighted to pierce you myself. Where are you located? If you would like to be notified when I make travel plans, please sign up for my newsletter by typing your email address into the box on the right column on any page of my site: http://piercingbible.com It is an "opt-in" list, so I can't add you myself. 

Are you sure you're anatomically suited to the piercing? To evaluate for a VCH piercing, you have to try the q-tip test as shown and explained on this page of my website: http://piercingbible.com/q-tip-test

You should de-fluff the swab and lubricate it bit if your hood seems tight or shallow and simply insert the swab under your hood but don't push up too hard on it. Sometimes there's not much of a natural "overhang" of skin, but if it can be manipulated to cover, it is still safe to do the piercing. So if your hood doesn't cover the tip of the swab, use your other hand to try to manually move the tissue down to try to draw the skin over to the swab tip. (It is easier to push the tissue down rather than try to pull it.) The skin won't stay in that position like that, but that's fine--if you can get it to cover, it means you're a candidate--at least for ME to do the piercing. Not all piercers know how to work with minimal anatomy. 

My piercing fee is $100 for an initial piercing, plus the jewelry. Additional piercings on the same person in the same session are $50. each (plus jewelry). When I pierce you, you'll be purchasing jewelry at the studio after I determine the optimal size for you. I've never had someone regret that they waited for me, or traveled to be pierced by me, or had someone feel unhappy that they paid what I charge; it is well worth it to get the job done properly. Unfortunately, I've heard plenty of regrets from those who haven't visited me and I get emails DAILY about botched genital piercings! To read about some of them, you can take a look at my blog: http://piercingbible.com/blog. It is such a shame how common that is!  

Please be careful!!! Here's the story of a piercing that caused unnecessary agony and almost ended in surgery: http://piercingbible.com/blog/2012/07/vertical-clitoral-hood-vch-piercing-nightmare-pierced-too-deep-jewelry-too-short

And here's one where a woman's clitoris was accidentally pierced along with her hood: http://piercingbible.com/blog/2012/07/yet-another-accidental-clitoris-piercing-botched-vch-hood-piercing 

If you can't make it to me, all of my piercer referrals are posted on this page of my website: http://piercingbible.com/piercer-referrals