How Bad Do Belly Button Piercings Hurt: Pain Level


Does it hurt to get your bellybutton pierced or is it painful? What is the expected pain level scale for this procedure compared to ear, nose or tongue piercings? Can you experience it again afterward? Learn more about how bad having your navel pierced hurts as well as tips to ease it.

Pain during piercing  

One question we are certain you have isdoes getting your belly button pierced hurt’ and if so, how bad. Sit relax while we try to give you want to expect.

To begin with, you deserve to know that during the actual process of piercing, some people report a sharp pricking pain that does not last for long i.e. it goes away quickly after 3-5 seconds. It is comparable to small pinch, prick or a little pressure as the needle is passing through your navel and comparable to the pain of a needle passing through your soft tissue like lip or earlobe.

Do not ignore clamping. Clamping can also cause considerable pain to which some say exceeds the actual piercing experience. Also, some people experience most pain and pressure when the jewelry is being inserted.

Whether it is a bottom or top part, the discomfort will be comparable. However, if you are going for a double navel piercing, it means two holes will be made and you will experience the pain during each of the two.

Re-piercing (getting pierced on your belly button again or a second time), being pierced through a scar tissue or choosing a bigger size needle (in case you want a bigger jewelry gauge) might have an impact on overall pain experienced.

Navel Piercing Pain FAQs

1. What is the pain level or scale 

To help illustrate to you how bad it does hurt, we are going to use a pain scale of 1 to 10 with 1 being least painful and 10 being most painful. The average level is about 3-4.

2. Does it hurt more than Nose, ear or cartilage piercings? 

If we do pain level comparison with other piercings, it hurts more or less as eyebrow, earlobe, and tongue. However, it is less painful when compared to nostril, labret, cartilage, n1pple and those on genital areas

However, some people claim that getting your navel pierced hurts more than ear, tongue or eyebrow. It is hard to tell who is right or wrong because of the different levels of tolerance to pain that people have.

3. Does age affect how bad it hurts?

Age does not matter when it comes to pain experienced, whether you pierce it at 13, 14, 15, 18 or any age i.e. “age doesn't matter because it may hurt you less or more than it did me” - Lightbeauty [].

4. Is there pain after being pierced?

During the first few days, some people might experience a little dull throbbing pain and soreness. Kelly had a piercing at the age of 13 and she notes that the actual process was not painful. However, “after it’s done it was really sore and hurt for a while afterward” [].

However, if you experience any discomfort during the first cleaning, do not worry, this might be the normal sting caused by saline solution.

Finally, if you are pregnant, it is normal to experience mild discomfort as your womb expands. This is why most doctors will advise you switch to flexible jewelry or remove them completely.

5. Is it an infection that is causing pain in my pierced navel?

In case of pain comes after a few days, weeks, months or after you have completely healed, it could be an infection. Do not be surprised if you begin experiencing the it after a year or after several years.

Pain (especially throbbing ), redness, swelling, bruising, bad odor, and oozing of pus are among the common symptoms in case of an infection.

Be careful not to have it infected since when infected, it hurt very much compared to other piercings such as ear, nose or tongue. It is important to follow the given aftercare instructions to help stop infections.

Furthermore, friction caused by clothes rubbing it before it is fully healed can cause not only pain but also increase the risk of getting an infection.

Pain relief 

If you have a low pain tolerance level, obviously you are looking for ways to ease the discomfort. Some of the great ways to stop or reduce the pain include going to a qualified piercer, taking a deep breath during the process, being relaxed, using topical numbing cream (which might only help you psychologically since most do little) and having it done quickly.

If it hurts afterward, try OTC painkillers such as ibuprofen, avoid excessive cleaning but keep it very clean. In addition, do not touch your piercings, sleep on it or expose it to physical trauma. Finally, try anti-inflammatory medications, and follow any other aftercare instructions given by your piercer.


It is not easy to come up with one answer on how bad a belly button piercing dues hurt. We thought it wise to give you so many experiences from different people to help you guess or tell what you will expect during the process:

“Am I gonna lie and say it didn't hurt? Of course, it hurt.  But it wasn't too bad.  It hurts more when it is healing, as I recall (it has been pierced for almost 10 years now).  It hurts more when you're tense, though, so relax and enjoy the ride”- Saroful []

“Just relax. There will be pain that is for sure, but not so much. For some, it is just a pinch, for others slightly more. The more you stress about it, the more the pain. Just be excited about the piercing and choose a good piercer and you will be fine” - Kelia, [].

“Out of my 14 piercings [including n1ipples and a genital piercing], my navel was the most painful. I went to True Tattoo in Clifton Park NY in December and asked to have it done” - KayleighGrace916 [].

"I got mine pierced unprofessionally done and it didn't feel it at all. If you pinch the flesh on your navel that is about how much it "hurts" but if you get it professionally done the clamps hurt way more than the actual piercing itself” - Melanie [].

“Personally, both of my navel piercings (standard & inverse) hurt a bit, but it wasn't that bad. They can take up to a year to heal though. Mine was healed in about 6-7 months, the inverse one took less time to heal” – Kate []

With this discussion, I hope you can guess what it feels like to get your belly button pierced or how much does getting your navel pierced hurt. One sure fact is that they are painful but not so much.

Our sources and references
  1. Does Naval Piercing Hurt:
  4. Experiences of Navel Piercings on Women:
  5. Does getting your belly button pierced hurt:
  6. Does having your Belly Button pierced hurt:

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