These piercings are situated on the sides of the vulva (external female genitalia) in the thick, fleshy folds of tissue where hair grows. Labia means “lips” in Latin; the awkward singular form of the word is labium. Outer labia piercings are often done in pairs, with one on each side, or in multiples, to form a ladder.

General Information

Unless you're configured in such a way that the jewelry can be placed to touch your clitoris, you are not expected to experience erotic sensations of the sort that are often derived from wearing jewelry in a piercing of the hood such as the Vertical Clitoral Hood (VCH) piercing or triangle piercing. Outer labia piercings are primarily visually pleasing for the wearer. Depending on placement and jewelry, a male partner might feel them during penetration.

Healing Time
3-4 months or longer

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These piercings can be situated nearly anywhere along the pliable rim of the outer lips. They pass through denser tissue and take longer to heal than hood and inner labia piercings. If placed next to the clitoris, they might provide direct stimulation from the sides. Some wear them higher up on the lips to make them more visible, or lower, adjacent to their vaginal opening, where they may serve the function of adding stimulation for a male partner during intercourse.

To determine the most comfortable spot for your piercing(s), the size and shape of your anatomy should be considered—both when your legs are together and when they are apart.

Outer labia piercings can be placed to frame the most exposed part of your lip (the surface that faces the floor when you are standing), or they can be tucked inward, to frame the edge of the labia—partially on the smooth, hairless portion, and partially on the surface where hair grows.

You can make a statement with multiple labia piercings—inner and outer—depending on individual build. Having six or eight in this region is not unheard of, and some women have even more! If you wish to wear a single ring to join both sides together after healing, let your piercer know so she can line them up accordingly. Also, if you've got a plan for a total number of piercings to have eventually, then you should notify your piercer so this can be taken into consideration for placement.

Women are sometimes concerned that placing matched piercings directly opposite one another will be troublesome, but because the tissue is so malleable, pairs need not be purposely offset.

Functional outer labia piercing placed so the inner end of the jewelry touches the clitoris
The same outer labia piercing showing the jewelry touching the clitoris (this is anatomically dependent)
Outer labia piercings placed fairly high, near the clitoris
6 outer labia piercings, fairly low on the lips, plus a VCH piercing
A pair of very high outer labia piercings with curved bars, plus a VCH piercing
A pair of outer labia piercings placed low on the lips


Both ring style jewelry (captive, fixed bead ring, or circular barbell) or curved bars can be worn for healing of outer labia piercings. Most commonly I start with 12 gauge, though I will use 14 gauge at times, and occasionally 10 gauge by request, for well-developed anatomy.

The diameter of the jewelry is dependent on the size and the shape of the area. For initial jewelry I use 1/2" to 5/8" diameter for ring-style jewelry, or 7/16" or 1/2" diameter for a curved bar. If you have large thighs and the space between your legs is more crowded, a curved bar may be a better jewelry choice. 

For labia that are more defined and convex-shaped, then a smaller diameter can be worn because it will encompass sufficient tissue. When the area is flatter, a larger diameter is needed to safely include the optimal width of tissue between entry and exit.

It is common to downsize to a smaller diameter after healing, as the initial jewelry must have enough space so that it doesn't pinch on the tissue. Swelling in this area is always possible during initial healing, so this must also be factored in to the jewelry selection. 

Unless you are very flexible or your piercings are located close to the front of your vulva, it may be necessary to get assistance with jewelry changes. After healing, adding weights, bells, or charms on your piercings could be pleasurable. Some women also like the feel of tugging on labia piercings during sexual activity. These are the types of erotic enjoyment you can expect to derive from outer labia piercings.

Wait six to nine months from the initial piercing before stretching to a thicker gauge. If you have had troubled healing, wait a year or longer. This is sturdy tissue, and if the width of the piercing is substantial enough, you can safely wear jumbo jewelry. If you have especially pliable skin, or wear weights (or attach your stockings to your jewelry), you might be able to skip a gauge when stretching.

Outer labia piercings with curved bars as initial jewelry, plus a VCH piercing
A single outer labia piercing with circular barbell style jewelry and gemstone threaded ends
A captive bead ring is common for initial jewelry in outer labia piercings
A curved bar is an alternative style for initial jewelry in outer labia piercings


I use a forceps technique to perform outer labia piercings. Even when a pair is done directly across from one another, they are pierced one at a time. Many women describe the feeling of getting outer labia piercings as “biting" or "pinchy.” Once the procedure is over, you may experience some tenderness or bleeding afterward. When you receive a pair of outer labia piercings, it is normal if one side bleeds and the other doesn’t.

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Healing and Troubleshooting

Your bleeding may continue for a week or so, and swelling may remain for longer. Snug underwear helps to support the jewelry, but tight pants can cause discomfort and irritation, so wear loose or stretchy clothing at first. Women with undefined lips or large thighs might find outer labia piercings harder to heal.

You may experience thickened or hardened tissue, excess scarring, or other problems around the openings during healing; don’t panic. This is generally caused by the unavoidable trauma of walking and sitting. It has a tendency to come and go throughout healing. Saline soaks may help. If your problem is persistent, a change in the size or style of your jewelry is warranted. This type of complication frequently resolves over time, and the piercings heal without ill effects.

Outer labia piercings may not close completely upon removal, but they do shrink. However, if you like your piercings, you're advised to leave jewelry in at all times. Because the area is not in public view and may be masked by hair, these piercings will not leave much of a mark. If you are shaved and had healing problems, more obvious signs of your piercings may be visible to your doctor or lover.

Outer labia piercings with rings too small for the tissue-jewelry must be changed
Outer labia piercings experiencing healing trouble due to friction and movement

What My Happy Clients Say

I wanted a VCH but Elayne determined I wasn't built for the piercing. However, she suggested a labia piercing & angled it right next to my clitoris. & OH man is it wonderful!!!

I read that labia piercing are largely aesthetic but thanks to Elayne's expert markings I am VERY pleased to say that mine's is more than just an ornamental piercing. In short, it feels marvelous!! As for the pain, it was brief & just a sting.

DO IT! & make sure it's by Elayne because she is the best!! 

Philadelphia, PA

Elayne, you are so informative, relaxed, precise and quick as lightening. The piercings barely hurt.

I'm in love with my new matching outer labia set and my VCH. They are beautiful and healing fast. 

My expectations were exceeded:) Thank you so very much! 


I want to thank Elayne for a great experience with outer labia piercings. I'm quite middle-aged and I've only ever had my ears pierced before, so I was very nervous. 

She was very professional about the piercing in terms of timeliness and sterility, etc. but she was also warm and helpful about me being nervous.  

The piercings are healing beautifully. If I ever decide to have additional genital piercings, I would certainly go back to Elayne.