When it comes to the vagina, there are a lot of myths and misconceptions. Some people believe that vaginas can lose their elasticity and become loose forever but that's not exactly the case. Here's to busting myths and giving useful advice.

Your vagina is elastic which means it can stretch to accommodate things coming in, like a penis, or going out; a baby.

However, that stretch won't take too long and your vagina will snap back into shape afterwards.

However, your vagina might become slightly looser as you age or have children, but on the whole, the muscles expand and contract, similar to a rubber band.

Despite what many people believe, there’s no such thing as a “loose” vagina. Your vagina may change over time due to age and childbirth, but it won’t lose its stretch permanently and it certainly won't become permanently misshapen.

The idea of having a 'loose' vagina has been historically used to shame women for having active sex lives and scaring them into believing that the more sexual partners they have, the more slack the vagina becomes. After all, a 'loose' vagina isn’t used to describe a woman who has a lot of sex with her partner. It’s primarily used to describe a woman who has had sex with more than one man.

The truth is, the amount of sexual partners you have had is irrelevant because penetration won’t cause your vagina to stretch out permanently.

The loose vagina myth and 3 ways to tighten it up 'down there' [Credit: NRCOA]

There are only two things can affect your vagina’s elasticity: age and childbirth. Having sex often will not cause your vagina to stretch out permanently.F

Over time, childbirth and age could cause a slight, natural loosening of your vagina. Women who’ve had more than one vaginal birth are more likely to have weakened vaginal muscles. However, aging can cause your vagina to stretch slightly, regardless of whether you’ve had children. Naturally, your body will lose it's natural elasticity and affect your genitalia too.

Age

You may begin to see a change in your vagina’s elasticity starting in your 40s. As you age, your estrogen levels will begin to drop as you enter the perimenopausal stage.

A loss of estrogen means your vaginal tissue will become:

  • thinner
  • drier
  • less acidic
  • less stretchy or flexible

Childbirth

It’s natural for your vagina to change after a vaginal delivery. Your vaginal muscles stretch in order to let your baby pass through the birth canal and out of your vagina’s entrance.

After your baby is born, you may notice that your vagina feels slightly looser than its usual form which is absolutely normal. Your vagina should start to return back to form after a few days after giving birth, although it may not return to its original shape completely.

If you’ve had multiple childbirths, your vaginal muscles are more likely to lose a little bit of elasticity.

It's also important to note that some women's vaginas are naturally more slack and wider than others which is purely down to genetics.

If you are uncomfortable with the state of your vagina and would like to tighten things up down there, there are a few things you can try to strengthen your vaginal floor muscles before, during, and after pregnancy.

1. Yoga

The real key to vaginal strength isn't your vagina at all, but your pelvic floor. The pelvic floor sits between your pelvic cavity and your perineum, which is the muscular area that's between your vagina and anus. Strength in this area gives you more control over your vagina, whether you want to hold back a stream of urine or have some assistance in child birth. Yoga has the unique ability to expertly strengthen your vaginal wall and pelvic floor.

Gentle movements in yoga can help you strengthen your vagina walls, your pelvic muscles, and muscles throughout your body. You can find simple yet effective exercises to try every day at home which will tighten everything up over time.

2. Vaginal Cones

An excellent natural way to strengthen the walls of your vagina is with vaginal cones. These cones come with varying weights attached to them. When you insert the vaginal cone into the vagina, the pelvic floor muscles must contract around the cone so that it does not fall out of the vagina. 

The exercise, which has to be performed for 15 minutes twice a day and you can start with the lightest cone and gradually move on to heavier ones as your pelvic muscles become stronger. It's a great way of tracking your progress.

3. Kegel exercises

Kegel exercises strengthen the pelvic floor muscles, which support the uterus, bladder, small intestine and rectum. You can do Kegel exercises, also known as pelvic floor muscle training, just about anytime.

In order to identify your pelvic floor muscles, stop urination in midstream. Once you've identified your pelvic floor muscles you can do the exercises in any position, although you might find it easiest to do them lying down at first.

Kegels are very simple, just imagine you are sitting on a marble and tighten your pelvic muscles as if you're lifting the marble upwards. Try it for three seconds at a time, then relax for a count of three.

Kegel exercise has been proven to effectively help women regain their lost tightness and the great thing is that they can be done anywhere.