Everything changes as we get older. Your vagina is not an exception, just as your hair becomes gray and your skin ages. Frequent changes in the strength of the pelvic floor muscles don’t happen overnight, but knowing when and what to expect can help you prepare. Age-related hormonal changes alter the vagina’s appearance and feel in a variety of ways, including during sexual activity.
To learn more about changes to the vagina and vulva as women age, Health-Club contacted Dr. Chetna Jain, Head of OBG Gynecology, Cloudnine Group of Hospitals, Sector 14, Gurugram, Haryana.
Understanding the Vagina at a Younger Age
In truth, the vagina adapts with age. A baby has a little vagina when it is born, below the influence of the mother’s hormones. However, these hormones wear off quickly, and infants may even have vaginal patches, as they may go off in just a few days.
Before puberty, a woman’s body has low levels of estrogen and progesterone. The vagina expands along with the rest of the reproductive organs as estrogen and progesterone production begins, and by the time a woman is eighteen, it frequently reaches adult size. Younger women typically discover a clear, watery, mucus-like discharge from the vagina as a result. These options enable simple and comfortable sexual activity. She said that the vagina typically remains in this condition until age 40.
Vaginal changes after pregnancy
During childbirth, the vagina becomes so stretched that it loses its tension and expands. It might occasionally lead to sexual unhappiness. Some women even notice bulges in the sides, back, or entrance of the vagina. Dr. Jain notes that this pelvic organ prolapse could also be seen after menopause.
How does menopause have an effect on your vagina?
Estrogen and progesterone begin to decline at the age of 40 and fall to extremely low levels after menopause. This makes the vagina smaller and wider, smooths out vaginal wrinkles, and reduces vaginal size and width. The vaginal aperture gets smaller. You lose pure lubrication when your estrogen levels are low. According to experts, unless the act is maintained, each of these factors contributes to difficulties with sexual activity.
How should you keep your vagina healthy?
According to medical professionals, there are specific procedures that must be followed for vaginal health.
- Take your time when cleaning your vagina. Be gentle with it and wash it delicately. Rushing may cause tears to your sensitive area.
- Don’t let saliva contact your genitals.
- Don’t engage in sexual activity without cleaning your hands beforehand.
- If you have no immediate plans to become pregnant, use a condom. It doesn’t just protect against STDs; it also guards against vaginal infections.
- Avoid cleaning your vulva with scented soap or gels. Scented soap and gels can be sensitive to you and cause irritation. Use warm water instead.
- Some lubricants can help girls who are experiencing vaginal dryness. There are two different kinds of lubricants. Sperm do not collect in water-based lubricants, which prevents them from interfering with reproduction. Suitable for use with condoms.
- Your private parts need to be exposed to air and light to keep your genitals healthy. Avoid using or use less cleaning soap.
- One of the best ways to wash your vulva is to clean it with warm water.
- Additionally useful for sanitary wiping are yogurt and diluted vinegar.
- Lotions with estrogen can be beneficial for certain postmenopausal women. They can only be used under a doctor’s supervision and are often hazardous.
- Correct care of the vulva and vagina might help prevent an infection.
- Professional bikini waxing should be done with caution because it can spread an HPV infection. Trimming is the ideal method for getting rid of genital hair. Lasers offer safety.
To avoid vaginal infections and issues, take care of your vaginal health. Don’t forget to consult your doctor before implementing the aforementioned advise.
Learn more on how to take care of your Vagina & Vulva with Dr Simi Adedeji.👇