HCH Piercing Questions

I received this question from a piercee who hadn't been well informed by her piercer:

I got the horizontal hood piercing. I have a bead ring, Brenda the lady who pierced me said she couldn't use the barbell like the one in my tongue. I love my new piercing but Brenda is on vacation and I got some questions. I work in recieving and I'm constantly moving my ring always moves to the side; is that normal?? My period is coming cuz I could feel the cramps, do I need more than sea salt water and antibacterial soap to clean it?? And how how long do you have wait to have sex. My piercer said a week but I don't think that sounds right. Well these are my questions I hope to hear from you soon.. Thanks Christina
My reply:
HI Christina, Many women find that horizontal piercings twist and turn, because female anatomy is so vertical, which is one of the reasons I do way more VCH (vertical) piercings than the HCH, like you have. There's no need for extra cleaning products when you have your period. Your own body fluids aren't harmful to your piercing if you're cleaning and caring for your piercing according to the suggested guidelines. You are correct--you must avoid sharing bodily fluids for a full 6 weeks minimum! Your piercing is giving advice that could be dangerous. Below is some important information from my book, but there is so much more in there that is relevant. I highly suggest you pick up a copy. Orders are being filled by the Association of Professional Piercers: http://www.safepiercing.org/publications/the-piercing-bible/ Safer Sex There is no set period for abstinence from sexual activities while genital piercings are healing. There are, however, two nonnegotiable rules: 1. Be gentle. Pay attention to your body. If your piercing feels sore, you must stop what you're doing, or at least ease up. As you begin to heal and the piercing feels less tender, you must still be vigilant to avoid injuring the fragile new cells. 2. Be clean and hygienic. Protective barriers must be used to prevent the sharing of bodily fluids. For oral sexual contact, use a dental dam (sheet of latex) to shield female genitalia and a flavored or unlubricated condom during fellatio. Thoroughly wash hands and sex toys before contact near a healing piercing, and use condoms for all intercourse and on insertables like dildos and bullet-type vibrators. If other barriers aren't suitable, apply a waterproof dressing such as a Nexcare or Tegaderm before sexual activities to keep your partner's body fluids from getting on your piercing. All of these precautions are mandatory to prevent infection during the entire initial healing period, even if you and your partner are monogamous and healthy. Appropriate body jewelry is smooth, so high-quality condoms that fit properly should perform well. Water-based lubricant helps reduce excess friction to protect the integrity of the latex. The sensitivity of your healing piercing can make up for the addition of an unfamiliar barrier. Pleasure Plus condoms are made with extra room that is suited to frenum and Prince Albert jewelry. Avoid condoms and lubricants with the spermicide nonoxynol-9 (N-9), as this harsh chemical may burn or sting and can harm the delicate cells of a fresh piercing (as well as vaginal or rectal tissue).

This explains a little about anatomy:

Female Genital Piercing: Hills and Valleys This terminology helps us to identify and discuss two basic shapes of female genital anatomy. These builds could also be described as innie and outie, but I'll reserve those terms for navels. If you are built with a valley, you have outer labia that are higher than your hood. You have a very vertical shape and are poorly suited to horizontal piercings; the jewelry would twist when you close your legs. You lack sufficient hood tissue to support a horizontal piercing or have too much outer labia and surrounding skin, which would interfere with horizontal jewelry. If you are built with a hill, you have a hood that is substantial, and higher than your outer labia. You may be a better candidate for horizontal piercings, depending on the configuration of your hood. Even though women with hills are better suited to horizontal piercings than those with valleys, some still opt for vertical placement, or both.

Here's some info about the jewelry. You might need to have yours changed:

HCH Piercing: Healing and Troubleshooting The most common complaint during healing is that the jewelry twists. Prevention is key: if your anatomy is not well suited, don't get an HCH piercing. Depending on your build and piercing placement, the twisting might be minimized by wearing a C-ring or U-ring (widened circular barbell), which I suggest for triangle piercings. See "Triangle Piercing: Placement and Choice of Jewelry," page 144, for details. This alternate style may help you get through the healing period, but it will not be as stimulating as a complete ring, due to the gap between the balls.