We are rounding out our aftercare series today talking about aftercare for genital piercings! This article is 18+ as we will be frankly discussing some concerns with healing genital work. Before reading this I strongly suggest reading this blog about how aftercare and piercing healing works, and this blog going over general aftercare concepts. I’ll be referencing both in this blog post. So without further ado, let’s chat!
In general, genital piercing care is largely the same as other piercings. No harsh chemicals, no alcohol or peroxide. Just saline wound wash to clean away crust or debris. For vulva piercings, some folks are so sensitive that even saline can disrupt their natural pH. If that’s the case for you, you can simply use clean water to rinse away and clean away any crust and debris. Some piercings like vch and triangle piercings often don’t have much debris to clean away. Others, like labia, Christina, PA, frenum, and Guiche piercings often heal more similar to other body piercings and have apparent debris you’ll need to remove. This debris can sometimes feel like a sharp, unpleasant sensation when the jewelry moves. Often if you have this sensation, it means there’s something built up on the jewelry to be cleaned. Cleaning in a warm shower works great for most folks as the heat and steam softens debris and makes it easy to remove.
If you are going to use a soap in this area please ensure it’s a mild one intended for use on these body parts. Fragranced soaps and soaps with dyes and harsh chemicals are bad for your piercing and for this area of your body. If you have a vulva most soaps can be disruptive and damaging so please be careful. For penile piercings, avoid soap in or around the urethra or healing piercings as this will be a very uncomfortable sensation.
The genital area is highly vascular and has a lot of blood flow, which does mean genital piercings can often experience a fair amount of bleeding during the healing process. This bleeding is normal, and nothing to panic over.
For vulva piercings, bleeding may be similar to spotting or even a light flow. Wearing a panty liner and underwear you don’t care about is a perfect solution. In general, vch, triangle, and labia piercings tend to have more bleeding more often, but everyones bodies are different. Caffeine, alcohol, or certain medications may increase bleeding after piercing. After about a week all bleeding should subside. If you are ever concerned about the amount of bleeding, please contact your piercer for a followup!
For penile piercings, it depends on the piercing. Frenum, Hafada, and Guiche piercings often don’t have too much bleeding. In comparison, PA, RPA, Apadravya, Ampallang, and dydoe piercings tend to bleed a fair amount. Many piercers use techniques and methods to minimize bleeding, but even still these can be quite bleedy. Enough that I strongly suggest wearing an overnight pad in your underwear the first few days to absorb any bleeding. You can bandage the area with gauze but honestly pads are designed for this task and work perfectly. This is a very vascular area, and for piercings on the head, changes in blood flow can cause a fair amount of bleeding. Namely erections can come along with quite a bit of blood. Caffeine, alcohol, or certain medications may increase bleeding after piercing. After about a week all bleeding should subside. If you are ever concerned about the amount of bleeding, please contact your piercer for a followup!
Urination During Healing
This is a primary concern for penile piercings that bisect the urethra. Namely, PA, RPA, Apadravya and Ampallang piercings. These piercings all go through the urethra putting them in direct contact with urine during healing. This is not inherently unsafe for the piercing but can cause a burning or stinging sensation that is unpleasant. Filling a large shallow bowl or Tupperware with warm water, submerging the penis and piercing, and urinating into that often soothes any discomfort during urination. Please rinse off well afterwards.
As these piercings heal you may notice some leakage coming from the piercing hole. This is normal- its a hole through your urethra which means urine can get out through this hole. Some clients adjust the way they position themselves during urination- from “the PA lean” to sitting to urinate. Anything to avoid a mess. This is normal however and is an expected side effect of these piercings.
Vulva piercings often don’t have to worry much about urination. Inner and Outer labia piercings are usually the only ones at risk, and if you position yourself angled forward you usually avoid that. If you are concerned urine has gotten on your piercings, a quick rinse with warm water will soothe any stinging or discomfort.
Perhaps the most asked question is resuming sex and sexual contact during healing. This covers partnered sex and solo sex. The most important factor is comfort, followed closely by hygiene.
Comfort- if any activities burn, pinch, or sting, stop, wait a few weeks, and then revisit that activity. Right away certain acts, sensations, positions, and toys may be painful or uncomfortable. Piercings do need time to heal, and getting to excited to break in your new piercing can cause irritation, issues, and even problems healing. For many folks after 2-4 weeks they are ready to gently approach activities again. I would avoid any activities that may be overly harsh or damaging. This can include rough penetration, aggressive toys (vibrators often take a little bit to be comfy again) and any kink play. Listen to your body above all else- your piercings will tell you if they are uncomfortable with the current action. Don’t push through it.
Hygiene- This is the second most important factor to healing. We need any contact to be hygienic. For solo sex, please wash your hands, piercing, and toys throughly before and after. We suggest a water based lubricant not silicone based. And no scented or dyed products around a healing piercing!
For partnered sex, both parties should be cleaning up throughly before and after. We do also suggest using protection for the first 1-2 months. We aren’t worried about STDs but we are worried about other peoples bacteria and bodily fluids. We don’t want any of that coming in contact with the piercings as they heal. Condoms, dental dams, and gloves are all great forms of protection while healing. Go gently with a partner- explain the piercing is still healing and have open communication about what is and isn’t working.
Once fully healed these piercings are comfortable and practical for most toys, play, and partners. That said, these piercings like anything else have pros and cons, and you can read my take on that here. While healing though please be careful. I see any clients a year who get too excited over their new piercing and try to use them too soon, and then cause issues. So air on the side of caution during healing!
During healing you may find yourself changing up the clothing you wear. You’ll want to avoid anything Lacey that can easily catch and snag on jewelry. For underwear, many clients find a little support to be more comfortable than loose. Larger briefs with space for piercing and jewelry work well for vulva piercings- leave the itty bitty undies aside for this healing. And for penile piercings, boxer briefs can offer a little extra support and comfort where as boxers can leave things loose and sometimes cause irritation from friction and movement.
Now that web’e discussed general aftercare, let’s discuss my favorite tips for specific piercings.
these can experience irritation from sweat and moisture, so additional drying during healing can be beneficial in this placement.
Athletic boxer briefs often provide a little extra support. If you have larger thighs that may rub or chafe this piercing, underwear that helps tuck things in place really helps.
Apadravya and Ampallang Piercings
you’ll be waiting longer than other genital piercings before resuming any penetrative sex with these. These need a longer bar for initial piercing, and before downsizing that bar is kind of like a dog with a stick trying to go through a doggie door. It doesn’t really work well.
Outer Labia Piercings
supportive underwear really helps these sit comfortably. Tighter pants can sometimes cause jewelry to rotate and pinch. Looser bottoms and adjusting jewelry before sitting or standing can really help with that.
Genital piercings are some of the most empowering, rewarding, magical piercings that I get to do. And there is an unfortunate culture of shame surrounding them, as there is anything sexual. As such, there’s a great lack of good information about them online. So I sincerely hope that this blog helps you with all your care and healing questions. Happy Healing!