Causes of Vaginal Looseness, Methods to Enhance Tightness, and Further Details.
Contrary to popular belief, vaginas cannot permanently lose their elasticity. This pervasive myth has been used to shame people for their sexual experiences, suggesting that having multiple partners can cause the vagina to become "loose." In reality, the vagina is an incredibly elastic muscular organ, able to accommodate things like sex toys, penises, and babies, returning to its original shape in a short amount of time.
As for the concept of a "tight" vagina, this may actually be a sign of an underlying issue. Arousal is key to vaginal relaxation and self-lubrication, allowing for comfortable penetration. If the vaginal muscles remain tight during sexual activity or exams, painful sexual intercourse or insertion of tampons may result. This could be a sign of vaginismus, a treatable physical disorder. An OB-GYN can make a diagnosis and suggest a variety of treatments, such as Kegels, pelvic floor exercises, vaginal dilators, or even Botox injections to relax the muscles.
The primary factors affecting vaginal elasticity are age and childbirth. Having frequent or infrequent sex plays no role in this. While multiple vaginal births may weaken vaginal muscles, aging can also cause a slight loosening regardless of childbirth history. It's important to dispel myths and misinformation about the vagina in order to promote a more open and honest conversation about sexual health.
Changes due to Age
As you approach your 40s, a reduction in estrogen levels may cause a decline in your vaginal elasticity. This is because estrogen helps keep vaginal tissues thick and stretchy, but as its levels decrease during the perimenopause stage and beyond, these tissues can become thinner, drier, less acidic, and less flexible. You may start noticing these changes after reaching full menopause.
Changes due to Childbirth
After a vaginal delivery, it is natural for your vagina to adapt to the stretching it underwent to accommodate your baby's passage. Initially, you may feel some looseness, which should recede over time; however, the tissue may never return fully to its presurgical state. Repeated childbirths may worsen the effects, and you may opt to perform exercises to enhance your vaginal floor muscles before, during, and after pregnancy.
Strengthening Techniques for Vaginal Muscles
The pelvic floor muscles form part of your core and help sustain your bladder, rectum, small intestine, and uterus. Weak pelvic floor muscles may result from age or childbirth, causing inconveniences such as urine leaks, constant urination needs, pain in the pelvic region, and painful sex. Simple pelvic exercises such as Kegels and pelvic tilts can improve mild cases of urinary incontinence. However, severe urinary leakage requires an adequate treatment plan tailored to your needs, which your doctor can provide.
Effective Pelvic Floor Exercises
The first step is to locate your pelvic floor muscles. To find them, try stopping midstream while urinating; the muscles you use to do this are the right ones. After locating them, follow these steps:
1. Choose a position for the exercise, with most people preferring a supine posture.
2. Tighten your pelvic muscles.
3. Hold the contraction for five seconds, then release it for another five seconds.
4. Repeat the process at least five times in a row, gradually increasing to ten seconds.
Ensure you focus only on the pelvic floor muscles, avoiding tension in the thighs, abs, or buttocks.
Pelvic Tilt Exercises
To strengthen the vaginal muscles using the pelvic tilt exercise:
1. Lie down with your knees bent and feet flat on the ground.
2. Press your back towards the floor, clenching your buttocks and lifting your pelvis.
3. Hold the pose for up to ten seconds.
4. Repeat ten times.
Ensure you exercise caution while performing these techniques, and frequently monitor changes in your vaginal health.
Take a stance against the wall with your shoulders and buttocks firmly pressed. Keep your knees slightly bent and draw your belly button toward your spine. By doing this, your back should flatten against the wall. Tighten your abdominal muscles for four seconds and then release. Repeat this exercise several times a day to strengthen your core.
In addition to this, you can also use a vaginal cone to increase the strength of your pelvic floor muscles. This cone is a small, weighted object in the shape of a tampon that you insert into your vagina and hold in place. Begin by inserting the lightest cone and holding it for about 15 minutes twice a day. As you become more successful in holding the cone in place, gradually increase the weight of the cone you use. While vaginal cones may help with urinary incontinence after childbirth, more research is needed on their effectiveness.
Another technique to strengthen your vaginal muscles is neuromuscular electrical stimulation (NMES). This method involves sending an electric current through your pelvic floor via a probe to cause your muscles to contract and relax. You can use a home NMES unit or have this treatment performed by a doctor.
It's important to remember that a "loose" vagina is a misconception. While age and childbirth may cause a slight loss of elasticity, your vaginal muscles won't permanently stretch out. In due course, your vagina will return to its original shape. If you have concerns about changes to your vagina, consult with your doctor to discuss your options and address any worries.
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