As we get older, our bodies start to change, and that’s just a part of life. Many women feel they need to work harder and longer to achieve the same results as they did when they were younger. Why is that? The reality is that our bodies don’t work the same way anymore, which means we need to change how we keep it happy and healthy, too..
So how can we be proactive to ensure the transition is smooth, and that pelvic floor doesn’t fall victim to the side effects of aging? For explanations of common vaginal problems and solutions, keep reading!
Why does age affect the vagina?
The reason is that as we get older, our natural hormone production starts to drop off. This reduction in hormones means that our muscles are not being fed the same amount that they’re used to that used to keep them toned and fit when we were younger. While this might be more outwardly apparent with cardio or weight training workouts that we’re used to doing, the pelvic floor muscles go through this same transition.
As we get older, you have to work harder to achieve the same results, and in some cases, start to exercise muscles we may not have realized we needed to strengthen when we were younger. For many women, the pelvic floor muscles fall into this second category. While our normal activities may have kept it strong when we were younger, it may need more TLC as your vagina changes with age.
6 Natural Ways Your Vagina Changes With Age
There are a number of changes that can occur with our older bodies and, in particular, with our older vagina. Many issues that crop up in and around our lady parts stem from weakness in the pelvic floor muscles. Fortunately, there are solutions and preventative measures for all of them. An aging vagina doesn’t have to be a troublesome one.
Keep reading to learn about the solutions to vaginal aging that you can put into practice, no matter what age you are.
1. Vaginal Dryness
A dry vagina is a common problem that women face, and many choose to use a bandaid solution such as artificial lubricants (lube) as opposed to addressing the root of the problem. Vaginal dryness is caused or exacerbated by low blood flow to the pelvic floor muscles that occurs when there’s a reduction in hormones or muscle atrophy in general.
The Solution: So, how can you combat vaginal dryness? By strengthening and toning the pelvic floor muscles, women can naturally increase blood flow and natural lubrication. Using a safe and efficient vaginal weight like Kegelbell is a great way to build strength.
Leakage is something that plagues women of all ages, not just those with older vaginas. You may be surprised to learn that 66% of women experience some amount of leakage, but aging is one of the primary reasons if women haven’t had children or played high-intensity sports. Leakage, be it urine, fecal or gas, occurs when the pelvic floor muscles are not strong enough to support the organs, resulting in incontinence.
The Solution: Leakage is another common symptom that stems from weak pelvic floor muscles. By strengthening the pelvic floor muscles, women can prevent or treat all types of leakage and get back to a confident, happy life.
3. Changes in Hair “Down There”
Another change that appears in older vaginas is a decrease in the amount of pubic hair. This typically takes place after menopause begins and is a result of changing hormones in the body. Some women will notice a few grey hairs that make an appearance as well. This is a normal part of aging that can actually be a positive thing. Many women welcome the low maintenance grooming that comes along when pubic hair decreases.
The Solution: Just roll with it! As you age, your body hair will change in texture, color and thickness. This is normal. Our suggestion is to embrace the change.
4. Pelvic organ prolapse
POP (pelvic organ prolapse) occurs when the organs that are normally supported by the pelvic floor muscles start to descend and, in extreme cases, start to exit the body. This can present itself initially as a heaviness in the pelvic region, and in many cases, is not caught until it reaches more severe stages. This is a result of weak pelvic floor muscles that are not able to support the organs (bladder, uterus, rectum) that it needs to.
The Solution: Prevention is key when it comes to POP. By strengthening the muscles early on, women can prevent POP, and those who may have early stages can reverse the symptoms through pelvic floor training. Performing kegel exercises regularly is the ideal way to strengthen the pelvic floor.
5. An Increase in UTIs
In postmenopausal women, the risk of urinary tract infections increases. The cause? Lower estrogen levels impact the vaginal environment and make it harder for good bacteria to stick around. This can lead to an imbalance in the vagina as bad bacteria dominate, causing problems in your netherregion. An overlooked cause of UTI’s is pelvic muscle weakness, which allows for some urine to be retained and not fully or forcefully enough expelled. Another indirect way pelvic muscle weakness can cause UTI’s is if the woman uses pads for bladder leakage; this can also create the conditions for UTI’s. Fortunately, there are many ways to combat UTIs and prevent more from occurring.
The Solution: Because lower levels of estrogen in the body play a role, your doctor may recommend estrogen in pills, patches or another form to give the body the boost it needs. Daily changes such as drinking more water, managing high blood sugar, and strengthening the pelvic floor muscles are also helpful in combating UTIs.
6. Sexual dysfunction
Dryness falls within the category of sexual dysfunction, but other symptoms can also occur as your vagina ages. This includes laxity or looseness and anorgasmia, which is the inability or limited ability to achieve orgasm. Laxity is a result of weak muscles, just like any other muscle in the body, and can be addressed through pelvic floor strengthening. Likewise, an orgasm is a muscle contraction. If the muscles are weak, it will likely be difficult, if not impossible, to achieve climax. When the muscles are toned, it becomes easier to orgasm and do so in a variety of ways.
The Solution: Because laxity and the inability to climax come from weak muscles, toning and strengthening is a key solution. Weak muscles can lead to reduced sensation and a loose feeling overall. So start lifting where it counts and feel the difference in your sex life and daily life.
How to take Care of Your Vagina as it Ages
Now that we’ve walked through the changes that occur in your vagina, let’s discuss a few easy ways that you can show it some love. There are many steps you can take to encourage a healthy vagina, but here are some of our top recommendations:
- Keep having sex whether it be solo or you feel like getting others involved, it is good for your mental and physical well-being.
- Eat a wholesome diet that is rich in probiotics.
- Strengthen your pelvic floor with kegel exercises.
- Avoid harsh and fragranced cleansers that throw off the pH of your vagina.
- Voice any concerns or questions to your doctor.
Read here for more tips on loving your vagina.
Strengthen Your Vagina at any Age
While as we get older, we do have to go above and beyond to strengthen our pelvic floor muscles, it is possible and even easy to achieve that with the right tools. There are a lot of options on the market when it comes to pelvic floor training. But without the right one, the process can be stressful, expensive and ineffective.
That’s why we created Kegelbell as an easy, safe, natural and efficient way to strengthen your pelvic floor muscles in the privacy of your own home. Kegelbell is the first externally weighted vaginal weight training solution and the heaviest on the market.
This means that women can work out for less time (think five minutes, just three times a week in muscle-building mode, or once a week in maintenance) to prevent or treat all of the symptoms that may occur post-pregnancy, as a result of exercise or just due to aging.
Women don’t need to live with these symptoms. Kegelbell allows you to live more confidently with a toned and healthy pelvic floor.
Learn more about strengthening your pelvic floor muscles with Kegelbell →