Genital Aftercare Myths and Misinformation
Continuing my series debunking aftercare misinformation and myths today I’d like to talk about Genital piercings. While the general aftercare myths article covers some good general information, genital piercings in particular have their own special needs and concerns while they heal. And unfortunately, they are some of the least discussed online or in person. Many people feel uncomfortable talking frankly about things related to genitals or sex, and many studios simply don’t offer them, or in an effort to keep their website more family friendly, don’t have much information posted. So, today let’s debunk 7 common myths about genital piercings!
I don’t need to wear protection during healing as long as it’s my usual partner
It would be amazing if the world worked like this but, alas, not the case. When we suggest using protection during the healing process it’s not because we are worried about STD’s or STI’d. We are concerned about the unique bacteria that lives on another persons body. That bacteria can cause issues for your brand new piercing, including irritations and sometimes infection. So for the first month with a healing genital piercing it’s important to use some forms of protection to limit bodily fluid contact. Once the piercing it past that initial healing phase you can stop using protection. But even if they’ve been your partner for 30 or 40 years, they need to keep their fluids away from your brand new body piercing!
I don’t need to wait before resuming all forms of play, including using my new piercing!
Unfortunately, there’s heaps of posts on the internet telling folks they are fine to get rough with their brand new piercings as long as it doesn’t hurt. This is pretty misleading however. You can really damage a healing piercing even if you don’t notice any pain or discomfort during. Now that’s not saying you can’t have any sex while it’s healing, but perhaps keep things a little simpler initially. No rough or impact play, and limit use of harsh toys on or around the piercing. This is just for the first few months of healing. As the piercing becomes healed you can slowly introduce more forms of play and work back up to your normal routine. Plan for this when you decide to get your piercing- know that you’ll want to spend a few months being a little gentler.
You need to rinse the piercing every time you urinate during healing
That would be a huge hassle, particularly at work or at school! Fortunately, your urine isn’t inherently harmful to your piercing. For piercings that pass through the uretha such as Prince Alberts, you may experience discomfort urinating and find that using a shallow bowl of warm water and submerging the piercing to urinate helps. (Just be sure to clean things off after!) The same could be said for labia piercings, if you notice stinging if using passes near them However, unless you notice this discomfort you should be fine to use the bathroom as normal. This is a good opportunity however to check your piercing for any debris and make sure it’s clean, but you certainly don’t need to be cleaning and rinsing every single time. Over cleaning can cause a lot of irritation for a healing piercing, so remember to just clean it when it needs it!
I can use any lubricant during healing, Including flavored.
This is very untrue, and unsafe! Once healed you can use whichever lubricant you prefer. However, during healing it’s important to be careful what products are in or around your piercing. This means no flavored lubricants. It also means avoiding silicone lubricants is ideal. Just water based lubricants are all you need while the piercing is healing, and are safest to be on or around the healing wound.
I can’t wear a tampon or pad while these piercings are healing
Not true! You can still wear the menstural products of your choosing during healing, just ensure you are being hygienic about it. Wash your hands throughway before and after inserting or applying any products. Change them more frequently to prevent any hygiene issues with your healing piercing. And try to find products that are bleach and fragrance free, and organic and body safe. Once the piercing is fully healed you can resume wearing these products as you usually do.
I need to use antibacterial soap while healing a vulva piercing
This is false, and based off of years of false ideas about how the vulva works. All over shelves there are products that are marketed as making a vulva smell like “flowers, fruits, and rainbow sparkles.” However, our vulvas are not designed to smell like flowers or fruit. They are a self cleaning part of our body, and they smell exactly the way they are supposed to. Unless your OBGYN has prescribed a soap for health issues or to balance your pH, I promise you don’t need to use any soaps in that area, and particularly not on your piercing. Cleaning with saline is all you need, never ever any soaps or chemical products.
I’m fine to get waxed while my piercing is healing
Unfortunately, your usual grooming routines may need to take a break during healing. I would advice you to wait until the piercing is fully healed before resuming waxing/threading/etc. It’s unfortunately easy to irritate a healing piercing while waxing. Not to mention in order to wax throughly, you will need to move the piercing out of the way, and sometimes holding it and moving it around like that can cause irritation initially. Many of the pre and post wax products can also be harmful to a healing piercing. It’s best to wait until your piercing is fully healed before resuming your usual hair removal.
If you have any questions about healing your piercing, or are unsure if you are taking proper care, safepiercing.org has some wonderful industry standard guidelines listed on their website. Generally you should follow what your piercer has told you. If you are unsure that you are getting good advice from your piercer, don’t be afraid to get a second opinion. There is a forum on Facebook called Ask A Professional Piercer where many respected, vetted industry professionals assist clients with getting accurate advice and help with their piercings.