From puberty to menopause, many changes will occur as your vagina ages with you. As you grow older, you might be shocked to find out that many changes will occur in your mature vagina. So what changes can you expect with the aging vagina? Which ones are normal and which ones are not?
One of the first things you must understand is that there is a significant variation in vaginas and vulvas, regardless of age. So, this means that all women won’t notice the same exact changes. However, when you throw time into the mix, some changes appear to be universal. Most women will notice that vagina feels different as they age. Take a look at some of the changes that occur to your vagina as you grow older.
There is a Difference Between the Vagina and Vulva
A lot of people incorrectly refer to the entire area as the vagina. However, the external parts are known as the vulva, and the internal tubular structure is what’s known as the vagina. As you age, both the vagina and the vulva will lose thickness. Apart from that, the color of the vulva might also change from pink to a paler hue. Also, in some women, the clitoris will shrink, and the labia tend to loosen. With these changes, just like skin, everything else will become thinner and a lot less elastic. You will also notice that the pubic hair will become gray.
Birth Control Can Cause Your Natural Lubrication to Dip
Naturally, your vagina is capable of cleaning itself. It is also self-lubricating, and this is what happens when you are about to have sex. There are physiological changes that take place to trigger a release of extra lubrication. However, when you get to the stage in your life that requires you to take birth control, several things will change in your body. Birth control prevents ovulation, and this changes the hormonal environment in your body. One of the most notable changes is vaginal dryness. You will notice that your vagina feels different because of this. Some people have issues with too much wetness who might benefit from this. If you start experiencing vaginal dryness due to birth control, it is advisable to reach for some lube.
Pelvic Floor Muscles Will Weaken With the Aging Vagina
Muscle wastage occurs naturally all over the body as you age. Unfortunately, your pelvic floor muscles are no exception. As you grow older, your pelvic floor muscles will weaken, and you might start experiencing a decrease in pelvic floor strength. This is the muscle that is responsible for bladder and uterus support. As such, you might start experiencing issues like urinary incontinence, and some women can even get a vaginal prolapse. Also, you might notice that your vagina feels different as this muscle becomes weaker.
The issues that come with weaker pelvic floor muscles are worse if you have more body weight. Therefore, it is advisable to maintain a healthy weight to lower the risk of problems like vaginal prolapse. You can also start doing some pelvic floor exercises regularly. Although these might not be able to fix existing issues, they can help you prevent future problems.
Your Mature Vagina Can Become Drier
As you grow older, there will be a decline in estrogen levels produced by your body. Estrogen is responsible for a lot of processes in the female body. For instance, it can help to maintain your old vagina moisturized and lubricated during sex. As estrogen declines, mature vaginal dryness is one of the first signs you will notice.
This dryness can be irritating, and it can lead to itching or burning sensations. Apart from that, old vagina dryness can also have a major impact on your sex life. Having sex when your mature vagina is dry can be quite painful. Because of this, each time you try to have sex, your body will anticipate the pain, and your muscles will likely tighten. This makes the discomfort even worse.
There are several vaginal moisturizers that you can use to correct this issue. It’s also advisable to spend more time on foreplay during sex, and in some cases, women are even advised to use lubricants. There are several water-soluble personal lubricants that you can use to help alleviate any discomfort. If you don’t have much success with these, you can go for vaginal estrogen. This usually comes as a cream pessary or in tablet form. However, for this, you will likely need a prescription.
Your Mature Vagina Becomes More Susceptible to Infections
Many hormonal changes occur when you are aging. These changes can result in atrophy of the vaginal wall. As the vaginal wall becomes thinner, this can affect your pH balance. Physiologically, the pH balance is responsible for keeping the harmful bacteria under control.
PH is maintained at a level that makes it impossible for bad bacteria to thrive. Instead, the good bacteria will flourish and also help in fighting off bad bacteria. As you age, this pH balance can be affected, which harms the ecosystem of the old vagina. As a result, you might become more prone to vaginal infections.
Sex Will Feel Different as Vagina Changes With Age
This is another inevitable consequence of aging. When you grow older, the aging vagina will become less elastic, shorter, and narrower. There is a perfectly reasonable explanation for this. As you grow older, estrogen levels will decline, and your vaginal tissues will start constricting. You will also notice that the vaginal opening will become a lot smaller. These changes might cause sex to become less pleasurable. However, regular sex can help prevent this from happening.
The majority of women who suffer from these symptoms will greatly benefit from Hormone Replacement Therapy. As your vagina changes with age, this simple and effective treatment utilizes estrogen and progesterone to make sex feel better. In most cases, Hormone Replacement Therapy will provide effective relief and prevent the progression of these menopausal changes .
Varicose Veins in Your Vulva and Your Vagina Changes With Age
Varicose veins can occur for several reasons. Usually, they are caused by excess blood flow. Also, when you are pregnant, your body can find it a bit difficult to move blood around due to weaker vein valves. In some instances, the vulvar varicosities may be painless. However, in some women, they will cause a great deal of discomfort. People who develop varicose veins on their legs usually use compression socks to deal with this problem. Unfortunately, this tactic will not work with your vulva. You can communicate with your doctor and find out about the compression methods that work in such instances.
What do you think about our list of changes? Have you experienced any of them? If you are starting to experience any of these changes and would like to know how you can prevent them from progressing, please contact us today. We have many years of experience helping women deal with menopausal changes, and you can rely on us for the best advice and treatment.