24 Oct 2012

I received a message form a woman who was experiencing a problem:

I've had my VCH piercing for over a year now. I love it and I never want to remove it. But recently I went to the Doctor for URETHRITIS and of course they recommended that I remove and or use plastic jewlery. Should the balls on the end of my jewlery be plastic or would it be much safer to get an entire plastic piece.

My reply:

Admittedly, I'm not a doctor, but I know medical professionals often have a tendency to blame health conditions on piercings whether that makes sense or not.

One concern with having your doctor focused on your piercing as the cause of the problem means that the real reason may not get addressed.

A VCH is not located very near to the urethral opening. The image shows an improperly placed VCH piercing marked with an arrow where the jewelry should be resting, and the line marked at the bottom shows the location of the urethra. As you can see, the jewelry is quite far away from the urethra!

Improperly placed VCH and urethra markedIt is more likely that the condition was caused by some other reason such as contact with a soap that was too strong and not rinsed off well, or failing to urinate after intercourse. It doesn't make much sense that it would be from the presence of your body jewelry.

Here's some additional information on possible causes:

Urethritis is commonly a result of the bacteria that cause sexually transmitted diseases (STDs) like chlamydia, spyhilis, or gonorrhea. Viruses are a less likely cause. Those that can cause urethritis are most often the herpes simplex virus, and the cytomegalovirus.

Female urethritis has several other causes, including injury and sensitivity to certain chemicals. Some soaps or body powders, and spermicides can do it, as can vaginal infections. Tight clothes, sexual activity, even prolonged bike-riding can trigger a bout of urethritis.

Especially since your piercing is over a year old--why would it cause you a health issue now? It just doesn't make a whole lot of sense to me.

Did they give you a rationale on why plastic would be preferable to metal body jewelry? I have thousands of clients who wear metal jewelry in their genital piercings and they have no problems whatsoever by doing so years on end….

Consider any of the other potential causes and you may want to talk to the doctor again to be sure that the real problem gets dealt with.


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