mature woman thinking

Is my vagina loose?

There doesn’t appear to be any research around vaginal tightness that establishes an ‘average’. This is probably because it is an internal muscle that contracts and expands when required, for example during sex or childbirth.

The vagina (also known as the ‘birth canal’) is inside your body. Only the opening of the vagina (introitus) can be seen from the outside. Although vagina shape and size can differ, most women who feel that they have a 'loose vagina', are usually referring to the fact that their vaginal muscles don’t feel as tight as they are used to, as opposed to a condition they were born with. 

Often the symptoms described are reduced sexual pleasure or incontinence. In severe cases, loose muscles can cause a pelvic organ prolapse. This describes when the bladder, uterus, vagina, small bowel, or rectum descend into (or outside of) the vaginal canal or anus.

GO TO TREATMENTS

Reasons for a loose vagina

  • Sex 

Any changes in vaginal muscle tightness before, during, or after sex are only temporary. It’s not believed that intercourse (or the correct use of safely manufactured sex toys) has any long-term effect on vaginal muscle tone. This is regardless of how often a woman has had sex, who she has had sex with, or how many times she has used sex toys. 

  • Childbirth 

The pressures of pregnancy and childbirth on the pelvic floor and vagina can cause stretching of the muscles. This is probably the most common reason that women feel they have a loose vagina.

Many women regain muscle tone in the months following childbirth, but some don’t manage to. Permanent muscle weakness can be the result of a traumatic birth experience, large baby, multiple births, or being an older mother. 

  • Ageing

It is not uncommon to develop a naturally loose vagina with age. We mentioned the effects of being an older mother above, but muscle tone and skin elasticity reduce with age anyway, regardless of whether or not a woman has been pregnant.

  • Reduced oestrogen

Lower levels of oestrogen can cause vaginal tissue to be thinner, dryer, and less stretchy. This can occur because of ageing and menopause, as well as being caused by health issues and medications.

  • Illness and injury

Other reasons for a loose vagina can include certain health conditions (e.g. gynaecological cancer) and medications, as well as traumatic injury.  

doctor consultation

How to tighten your vagina

Vaginal tightening is possible through a number of methods.

Exercise is beneficial to the body, as is maintaining a healthy weight. This is no different for the pelvic area and vagina, with poor muscle tone and excess weight exacerbating any problems.  As with all muscles, vaginal tone and strength can be improved through exercise.

Diet can also have a major effect on our health, so it’s important to eat nutritionally balanced meals and minimise the consumption of processed foods. Some foods are believed to be of particular benefit for the vaginal muscle tone, such as sweet potato, avocado and edamame. 

Non-surgical options such as CO2 Laser Treatment and Radio Frequency Therapy have been proven to deliver outstanding results. These minimally invasive treatments can not only improve vaginal tightness, but also the overall vaginal functionality.

For those who wish to restore vaginal control, tone vaginal muscles and improve sexual satisfaction, then vaginal tightening surgery may be the best option.

Kegels

Kegel exercises are simple and can be done anywhere. Firstly, locate your pelvic floor muscles by stopping the flow when passing urine. Once you’ve discovered where your pelvic floor muscles are it’s important not to do this again as it isn’t good for your bladder. 

Next, you need to sit comfortably and squeeze your pelvic floor muscles. Don’t hold your breath and try not to squeeze your stomach, bottom, or thigh muscles at the same time. An easy way to remember to do pelvic floor exercises is to perform them when doing a daily task like brushing your teeth.

Pelvic tilts

This simple exercise can be very effective. Simply stand with your shoulders and bottom against a wall, keeping your knees soft. Pull your belly button in towards your spine so your back is flat against the wall. Tighten your belly button for four seconds, then release.

Warning! To avoid injury, it’s important to start slowly and gradually build up the number of Kegels and pelvic tilts you doas well as how long you squeeze for.

Our ‘FemiLift’ treatment uses CO2 laser technology to stimulate the formation of new collagen, improving the entire vaginal area’s functionality. It involves inserting a hygienic probe into the vagina to gently heat vaginal tissue and contract existing fibers. Each treatment session takes less than 30 minutes and results in little to no side effects. For the best results, a course of three to four treatments is usually recommended.

Harley Medical also offers ThermiVa Vaginal Rejuvenation Treatment. This is a non-invasive, non-hormonal treatment that improves vaginal laxity, vaginal dryness, incontinence, and bladder control. It uses a small disposable wand to deliver pain-free radiofrequency energy to gently heat tissue with little to no discomfort. The treatment lasts 30 minutes and is delivered once a month for three months. 

There is no downtime after ThermiVa treatment and it delivers instant results. Patients report muscles and tissues in the vagina being tighter, as well as improved bladder control, and an increase in lubrication.

This procedure is an effective way to restore control, strength, and tone to your vaginal musclesenabling you to regain confidence and improve sexual satisfaction. Your cosmetic surgeon will determine whether your vaginal tightening surgery is performed under local or general anaesthetic, and the procedure takes about 60 minutes to complete. 

It involves shortening any muscles at the back of your vagina which have been stretched, removing the excess loose skin (inside vagina) and joining them together. All scars are internal, so don’t worry about them affecting the appearance of the area.

breast doctor

When to see a doctor

Always consult a doctor when you have any concerns about (or changes to) your vagina. This includes:

  • dryness
  • itching
  • unpleasant smells
  • unusual discharge
  • change in colour of skin
  • discomfort and/or pain
  • sensation of fullness or pressure
  • feeling that your ‘insides are falling out’

Similarly, it’s important to seek medical advice before using any products or treatments, as well as if you’re undergoing any surgical procedures. This is to ensure safety and suitability. 

Speak to a patient advisor

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Key takeaways 

  • Vaginal laxity or ‘looseness’ is usually referring to reduced muscle tone in the vagina walls and pelvic flooroften the result of childbirth, ageing, menopause, and certain health conditions. It is not known to be linked to sexual activity. 
  • Common problems can range from occasional urine leakages and decreased sexual pleasure, to fecal incontinence and prolapse 
  • Tightness can be increased through exercise and diet, but if these fail to help, The Harley Medical Group offers a range of treatments

Always consult your GP about any changes to the vaginal areaincluding irritation, discomfort, pain, fullness, or pressure

FAQs

Vaginal laxity refers to loss of muscle tone in the vagina. This usually follows childbirth, menopause, or developing a more naturally loose vagina with age. The effects can range from mild urine leaks and decreased sexual pleasure, to a dangerous prolapse causing the internal organs to move out of place.

Aside from certain medical conditions that could be considered the result of a very loose vagina (e.g. prolapse) genitals may feel looser than beforebut are not actually ‘loose’. This is because the vagina is a muscle that contracts tightly enough in the vast majority of women, despite sexual intercourse and childbirth. 

Vaginas are programmed to become looser in preparation for sex, then contract back afterwards. This is irrespective of how many sexual partners a woman has had, or how frequently she has sex.

It’s very important that your muscles are strong enough to hold internal organs in placepreventing prolapse and also bladder and bowel incontinence. Regular Kegel and pelvic tilt exercises can help prevent muscles from becoming lax. But if you’re feeling discomfort, pain, pressure, fullness, or the sensation that something is ‘falling out’, it’s important to seek medical attention immediately.

The notion of a ‘tight’ vs ‘loose’ vagina is usually based on each woman’s experience as she ages. Medically speaking, ‘tight’ could mean that the vaginal walls and pelvic floor are strong enough to hold essential organs in place, as well as ensure bladder and bowel control.

Most commonly, when women complain of ‘looseness’ they are likely to be referring to urine leakages when coughing, sneezing, or laughing, as well as reduced sexual pleasure.

Diet can have a major effect on our health, so it’s important to eat nutritionally balanced meals and minimise the consumption of processed foods. 

Some foods are believed to be of particular benefit for vaginal muscle tone. For example, sweet potato is rich in beta carotene and vitamin A and is therefore believed to help strengthen and protect muscle tissues for healthy vaginal and uterine walls.

Similarly, avocados contain high levels of healthy fats, vitamin B6, and potassium. The fruit can enhance vaginal lubrication and increase oestrogen to strengthen vaginal walls. And while not recommended for everyone, soy is believed to be beneficial for women with reduced oestrogen levels. This is because it contains phytoestrogens (compounds that mimic oestrogen in the body). 

Minimally-processed soy products (such as edamame, tofu, tempeh, and miso) are hydrophilic, meaning they help your muscles to retain more water. They also contain isoflavones (plant-derived phytoestrogens) which are beneficial for the skin in postmenopausal women.

If regular exercise alongside an improved diet isn’t building muscle tone after a few months, then you may wish to consult your doctor for further advice. In severe cases, sometimes muscles can be so weak that they may require extra help to get back in shape. The Harley Medical Group offers a range of treatments to help, even if you’re convinced that you have a very loose vagina.

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