Is it true that a woman with a pierced clitoris may eventually lose her ability to orgasm? -- Lenny, 23, Colorado

There are many ways to pierce a clitoris and/or surrounding genital tissue. The most common is to place a ring or other (hopefully sterile) object through the hood of the clitoris, rather than through the clitoris itself. The alleged goal is to increase sexual stimulation of the clitoris.

The scientific literature on this topic is, not surprisingly, sparse. One study of 33 women who answered questions about a wide range of sexual functioning both before and after they had their clitorises pierced, however, found no change in orgasm frequency or satisfaction after the piercing. Whether piercing of the clitoral hood, or the clitoris itself could impair orgasm in the long-term is an open question.

Many types of complications have been reported with clitoral piercing, including infections, transmission of diseases, allergic reactions, and scarring. But, to date, there have been no reports of impaired orgasmic functioning because of clitoral piercing.

Dr. Harry Fisch is a board certified urologist. He’s here to answer reader questions in an effort to get guys to “man up about health.”