Creative (But Wrong) Surface Female Genital Piercing Placed to Side of Hood

I received this message:

I got my vch done about a week and a half ago. I have several ear piercings but no body piercings. I'm 40 and going through some big changes in my life. A friend gave me a gift certificate to a local shop, which I researched and I thought this a good time and place to do a vch.

A Vertical Clitoral Hood (VCH) Surface Piercing Off to the Side
The Piercing

The healing process has been pretty standard. Salt soaks, ice and neutragena soap. However, I've noticed that it's swollen on the left side of the piercing. And it's incredible itchy - not on the piercing itself but around it. It's not oozey or overly red or painful (at all) just itchy and lopsidedly swollen.

I'm just wondering if I should take it out or if it's too soon to tell.

I've read that you advise people with piercing questions. I understand if this is wrong info.
Just wondering.
Thank you
A Vertical Clitoral Hood (VCH) Surface Piercing Off to the Side
Close up showing irritation

My reply:

I'm afraid that you definitely do have a surface piercing there--not a VCH. It is clearly not under your hood. But it has been creatively placed in a way that manages to have the bottom ball touch your clitoris…. The piercing is made in a fold of tissue off to the side, above your clitoral hood! Still, it is not properly placed even if the jewelry is managing to touch your clitoris.

Because it is a surface piercing, and it is not placed in much tissue between the entry and exit, you should keep a close eye on it. If the skin beween the entry and exit appears smaller, or you can see through the tissue to the bar, then you should remove it to avoid a split scar.

In the photos it appears that your hood is quite small and that it fits very closely over your clitoris. So I'm not sure that you're suited to a properly placed VCH. This page shows how to check for suitability using the q-tip test:

You may want to try it out. If you are able to do the test successfully, then you should be able to get a properly placed VCH (if you go to a studio where they know how to place them).

Are you following the aftercare as suggested here?
It couldn't hurt to review and make sure you're doing everything correctly. Detailed info on the saline soaks is here.

Are you using Neutrogena bar soap? I haven't actually heard of people using that for body piercings, but itching surrounding a piercing is often from a care product causing chemical irritation. It does appear that you are experiencing some irritation and dryness, so you may want to discontinue that.

Also, do you know what material your jewelry is, and if it is internally threaded (see below)? If you are not wearing high quality jewelry, you may need to change to higher quality jewelry for your piercing to heal properly. That could definitely cause itching.

Internal and External Threads graphic

Good luck.

Elayne Angel, Author
The Piercing Bible--The Definitive Guide to Safe Body Piercing
President, Association of Professional Piercers

[email protected]

What is the wait time for sex after getting hood pierced?and does it hurt much?

How long do you need to wait to have sex? I often remark that piercees need to wait until they leave the studio. After that, once you feel ready (physically and mentally/emotionally) it is up to you if you are following these rules….  From The Piercing Bible:

Safer SexThere 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).1