A triad of evidence for care of women with genital piercings


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Abstract

Purpose:To add three further dimensions of evidence for the care of women with genital piercings (GPs).Data sources:Following a literature review, a cross-sectional study replicated previous work, using a web-based survey. This triad of evidence provides (a) descriptive quantitative data (N = 240) about women with GPs, (b) qualitative data about women with GPs, as well as (c) clinical observations from 60 healthcare providers (HCPs) who have cared for women with GPs.Conclusions:Three important findings about women with GPs were validated: (a) GPs were deliberate actions, sought for personal and sexual expression; (b) women with GPs treat piercings as a normal, meaningful part of their lives which produce sexual enhancement and expression; and (c) they continue to seek information about GP care from nonhealth providers. New data indicate that they have experienced depression (47%), abuse (physical 18%; emotional, 27%; sexual, 14%), and forced sexual activity (35%) in their lives. Several unsubstantiated assumptions about women with GPs are challenged with these data.Implications for practice:GPs should not delay important health care. Health-protective, as well as health promotion, behaviors are important to reduce risks. Nurse practitioners (NPs) can become effective and resourceful advocates in three specific areas of care: (a) responsiveness to women with GPs, (b) collaborative decision making for the removal of jewelry, and (c) promotion of applicable patient education.

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