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 mature vaginas don’t function the same way as younger vaginas, which means we need to change how we take care of them, too.
So, how can we be proactive to ensure the transition is smooth and that the 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 that there are vagina changes with age is that 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, we 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.
8 Natural Ways Your Vagina Changes With Age
There are a number of changes that can occur with our older bodies and, in particular, with mature vaginas. 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 how best to treat mature vaginas 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 mature 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 mature 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 gray 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 UTIs 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 UTIs is if the woman uses pads for bladder leakage; this can also create the conditions for UTIs. 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.
Constipation can be due to many things, including lack of fiber, dehydration, and as a side effect of certain medications. One important thing to consider is that if you struggle with not being able to move the bowels, it could also be due to the pelvic floor muscles not being strong enough to contract and push.
The Solution: The pelvic floor muscles are a complex set of muscles that support a lot of different functions in the body, including our digestive functions. By doing pelvic floor strengthening exercises, you build up that set of muscles so that you can reduce constipation and excess strain on the body.
8. Vaginal Tissue Atrophy
One issue that people run into as they age is the deterioration of the vaginal tissue. This can occur post-menopause when the vaginal tissues can dry and atrophy to the point of fusing together if penetration and muscle movement aren’t occurring regularly.
The Solution: Kegelbell is a great way to have at least one weekly penetration and exercise that will keep the tissues healthy. Pro-tip: if you apply estrogen cream vaginally you can use the Kegelbell insert to apply the cream internally.
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.
- During perimenopause, it’s especially important to consider your posture because poor posture can put undue stress on the pelvic floor.
- Add yoga or pilates to get movement and strength to your inner core.
- See a pelvic floor physical therapist for massage and exercises to integrate into your self-care routine to keep your pelvic floor healthy as you age.
Read here for more tips on loving your vagina.
FAQ About Mature Vaginas
At what age does a woman stop getting wet?
Loss of natural lubrication is more correlated to the strength of the pelvic floor than it is to age. It may appear that we lose natural lubrication as we get older, only because our muscles have gotten weaker. Prevent or treat loss of natural lubrication by keeping your muscles strong, ensuring lots of natural blood flow to the muscles.
Is it normal to have more discharge as you get older?
Normal discharge is a result of hormones produced in the body, which during perimenopause and menopause changes significantly. It’s common for women to experience an increase of natural discharge during perimenopause and then a decrease during menopause. Vaginal atrophy is also known to cause discharge, so by strengthening the muscles and preventing atrophy, women can prevent this.
Can penetrative sex become painful as we age?
Sex should never be painful. If it is, that means it’s important to evaluate your sexual interactions and talk to a doctor. Some common reasons this might occur include loss of natural lubrication, atrophy of the vaginal walls, or changes in hormones. By keeping your muscles strong and healthy and having regular penetration with something to keep the tissues engaged and reactive, you can prevent this breakdown of the pelvic floor muscles.
Is it normal to leak urine after menopause?
Leakage is usually a result of weak pelvic floor muscles, which is common unless a woman is intentional about strengthening their pelvic floor muscles. This is exacerbated after menopause due to the drop in hormones, which can make it harder to maintain the same muscle tone as a woman may otherwise be able to achieve. Fortunately, there’s an easy solution, which is incorporating Kegelbell into their overall workout and self-care routine.
Is it normal for orgasms to get weaker as we age?
No! Sex should be just as exciting after menopause as it is when you’re younger, if not, even more so. Orgasms are just a muscle contraction, so if the muscles are weak, the contractions will be too. By strengthening the pelvic floor muscles, a woman can continually strengthen and enhance their orgasm and overall sexual experience.
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 →