When it comes to the vagina, there are a lot of myths and misconceptions. Some people, for example, believe that vaginas can lose their elasticity and become loose forever. That’s not actually true, though.
Your vagina is elastic. This means it can stretch to accommodate things coming in (think: a penis or sex toy) or going out (think: a baby). But it won’t take long for your vagina to snap back to its previous shape.
Your vagina may become slightly looser as you age or have children, but overall, the muscles expand and retract just like an accordion or a rubber band.
Keep reading to learn more about where this myth comes from, how a “tight” vagina may be a sign of an underlying condition, tips to strengthen your pelvic floor, and more
First thing’s first: There’s no such thing as a “loose” vagina. Your vagina may change over time due to age and childbirth, but it won’t lose its stretch permanently.
The myth of a “loose” vagina has historically been used as a way to shame women for their sex lives. After all, a “loose” vagina isn’t used to describe a woman who has a lot of sex with her partner. It’s primarily used to describe a woman who has had sex with more than one man.
But the truth is that it doesn’t matter who you have sex with or how often. Penetration won’t cause your vagina to stretch out permanently.
It’s important to know that a “tight” vagina may be a sign of an underlying concern, especially if you’re experiencing discomfort during penetration.
Your vaginal muscles naturally relax when you’re aroused. If you’re not turned on, interested, or physically prepared for intercourse, your vagina won’t relax, self-lubricate, and stretch.
Tight vaginal muscles, then, could make a sexual encounter painful or impossible to complete. Extreme vaginal tightness could also be a sign of vaginismus. This is a treatable physical disorder that affects 1 in every 500 women, according to the University of California, Santa Barbara.
Vaginismus is pain that happens before or during penetration. This could mean sexual intercourse, slipping in a tampon, or inserting a speculum during a pelvic exam.
If this sounds familiar, make an appointment with your OB-GYN. They can assess your symptoms and help make a diagnosis. For vaginismus, your doctor may recommend Kegels and other pelvic floor exercises, vaginal dilator therapy, or Botox injections to relax the muscles.
Pelvic exercises are a great way to strengthen your pelvic floor muscles. These muscles are part of your core and help support your:
When your pelvic floor muscles weaken from age or childbirth, you may:
Although pelvic floor exercises can help treat mild urinary incontinence, they aren’t as beneficial for women who experience severe urinary leakage. Your doctor can help you develop an appropriate treatment plan that suits your needs.
Interesting in strengthening your pelvic floor? Here are some exercises you can try:
First, you need to identify your pelvic floor muscles. To do so, stop midstream while you’re peeing. If you succeed, you figured out the right muscles.
Once you do, follow these steps:
To strengthen your vaginal muscles using a pelvic tilt exercise:
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