The inner labia, or labia minora, are the hairless folds of skin extending from the bottom of the clitoral hood, inside the thicker outer labia and surrounding the vaginal opening, and inner labia piercings pass through this tissue.
This tends to be an easy piercing to sit through, and an even easier piercing to heal. The skin is soft and thin (but strong) with an abundant blood supply, so healing is quick: usually four to six weeks. They can be a little “pinchy” when sitting during the initial healing—so it’s probably best to avoid bike riding for a little bit. (Sea-salt soaks or baths can definitely help with soothing any discomfort, but stay away from table salt, as the sugar may lead to yeast infections. For more information about genital aftercare, click here.) Abstaining from sex is not required during those four to six weeks, but use common sense: stay fluid-safe, and just be sure to avoid unprotected oral sex during healing.
Inner labia piercings are usually considered more aesthetically pleasing than stimulating, since they do not come in direct contact with the clitoris, but the movement of the jewelry can be a turn-on for many.
Suggested jewelry is a 12 gauge captive bead ring. Jewelry that is too thin increases the risk of tearing the soft skin; jewelry that is too thick or heavy may delay healing. Since the skin here is so elastic, barbells and circular barbells are not a suitable jewelry choice since the balls may pull through the skin—but this means this piercing stretches easily on it’s own, so it’s easy to insert thicker and/or heavier jewelry after healing to increase the sensation from the piercing.
As you can see in the gallery (right), there are huge differences in vulva from person to person. While one person may be able to accommodate multiple labia piercings, another may have labia that are so small that only one ring will fit (or even none). If you are thinking about this piercing, also consider whether you will be staying with one (or one pair) or may go with more later as this can affect placement. Plan ahead!