The best thing you can do for your vagina at this age are Kegel exercises. This helps strengthen the pelvic floor muscles. Kegel exercises help to retain muscles post-birth and it also decreases the risk of bladder and bowel issues.
How a Vagina Changes Over Time: 40s
In your 40s, perimenopause normally starts to happen. Perimenopause usually lasts for 4 to 5 years, on average, before fully transitioning into menopause.
At this stage, a woman’s estrogen level starts to slowly decrease. This leads to irregular menstrual cycles, hot flashes, and vaginal dryness.
Giving birth when you are in one’s 40s won’t be as easy. The vagina cannot heal as fast as it used to, so it will take more time for the vagina to feel normal once more.
Sex in one’s 40s can also be uncomfortable. In their 40s, many women go through a thinning of the vaginal walls and the rugal folds flatten which prevents the vagina from expending.
This can lead to pain upon penetration, rather than pleasurable sensations, even when a woman is aroused. Increasing Kegel exercises can help make sex feel better at this stage.
How a Vagina Changes Over Time: 50s
In a woman’s 50s, the changes in the vagina are more significant. Aside from the loosening of the vaginal walls and the weakening of the pelvic muscles, pubic hair is starting to become gray and sparse at this stage.
A few things that women need to watch out for is the possibility of having the uterus, bladder, or bowel prolapse. When this happens, it can affect the bladder or bowel function as well as vaginal pressure.
Sex at this age can be very uncomfortable, so lubrication is key to avoid vaginal pain and bleeding during intercourse. So it is best to take things slow and really build things up with foreplay to avoid any discomfort or injury.
How to Keep the Vagina Healthy
Vaginal changes as you age will be more visible. But there are certain things you can do to keep your vagina healthy as you go through life.
- HPV vaccination. This is important to protect yourself from the virus that is associated with cervical cancer.
- Limit your intake of alcohol and smoking. Too much of these two can affect sexual function.
- Kegel exercises. Do this for 5 to 10 minutes a day and it will do wonders for your vaginal muscles.
- Avoid douching and using vaginal scented products
Though vaginal changes as you age cannot be stopped, there are ways to help yourself through this natural transition, easing discomfort as much as possible.
You can age in a graceful manner, still ready to take on the world regardless of the changes throughout your body.