There’s a lot of myths and misconceptions when it comes to the vagina. Some people believe that reaching orgasm or how pleasurable sex will be for the man and woman depends on the tightness. Others think that a woman who never had vaginal penetration has a tight vagina. While those who’ve had several sexual experiences are said to have a loose vagina. Are these myths and misconceptions true? Read on to find out the truth.
Is there a “loose” vagina?
The vagina is made of highly elastic muscle tissue that is tightly packed when relaxed. There’s absolutely no “loose” vagina — it’s all a myth. But there are some points in a woman’s lifetime that her vagina may change in shape and size temporarily.
Childbirth is one of the most significant events that can affect the vagina’s natural tightness. It might feel different after, but it will definitely return to its pre-delivery condition — because it’s a muscle!
The vagina cannot “wear out”, expand too much, or lose its stretch permanently. Not even menstrual cups, tampons, or frequent penetrative sexual activities can change the size of the vagina or affect sexual pleasure.
Is a “tight” vagina good?
A “tight” vagina isn’t necessarily good — and it certainly doesn’t determine a woman’s sexual status.
The vagina is designed to expand and elongate to allow childbirth and to naturally relax when aroused to prepare for penetrative sex. When a woman is stressed, anxious, or not turned or interested, the vagina will not relax, stretch, and self-lubricate.
A tight vagina can make penetrative sex painful and uncomfortable. Painful sex is called dyspareunia (dis-puh-ROO-nee-uh) in medical terms. It may also be a sign of an underlying condition or a minor problem.
Here are possible reasons for the feeling of tightness:
Not enough arousal or lubrication
The vagina produces natural lubrication when aroused. It helps make penetration smoother and less painful. If penetration is painful, then it may have been done too soon or there isn’t enough lubrication. Adequate foreplay and a handy tube of water-based lubricant like EZ Lubricating Jelly can do the trick!
Infections don’t affect the shape or tightness of a vagina, but they can cause pain during sex.
Injury or trauma
Sex often becomes painful when the pelvis or genitals have injury or trauma. It’s best to wait for complete healing before engaging in sexual activities.
Those who’ve experienced sexual assault may find any sexual encounter difficult. Undergoing therapy may help with this.
There are women born with thick or inflexible hymens. This makes sex painful when a penis or sex toy pushes against the hymen. Even if it’s torn, it can still cause pain when hit.
Vaginismus is a condition where the vaginal muscles involuntarily or persistently contract when attempting vaginal penetration. It doesn’t affect sexual arousal, but it can prevent penetration or make sex painful.
Sex therapy, counseling, vaginal dilators, and physical therapy are often used to treat vaginismus.
How does the vagina change?
The vagina changes a lot in a lifetime. But only two things can have a significant impact on its elasticity: age and childbirth. Anything else — frequent sex or lack thereof — will not cause permanent changes to the vagina’s stretch.
Women in their 40s may start to notice changes in their vagina’s elasticity. That’s because their estrogen levels drop as they enter the perimenopausal stage.
Vaginal tissues become thinner, drier, less acidic, and less stretchy or flexible than before. The changes are more noticeable once they hit menopause.
The vagina naturally expands to allow childbirth. The vaginal muscles stretch to allow the baby to pass through the birth canal and out of the vaginal entrance.
After a vaginal delivery, the vagina may feel slightly looser than before. That’s a completely normal experience, and it can return to its normal form on its own. You can do exercises to strengthen the pelvic floor muscles before, during, and after pregnancy to help ease the discomfort of a “loose” vagina.
The vagina is about three to four inches long when not aroused. That doesn’t seem to be ideal for penetration. In addition to producing lubrication, the vagina also becomes longer and wider when aroused.
The upper part lengthens, which pushes the cervix and uterus deeper inside the body. That prevents the penis or sex toy from hitting the cervix and causing discomfort during penetration (but some women find it pleasurable when their cervix is stimulated as well).
Even though the vagina is capable of doing these things naturally, there are still a huge percentage of women who experience painful vaginal penetration. Sex should be pleasurable, and not uncomfortable. No one should endure the pain from feeling too tight. Most conditions causing this feeling are treatable. It’s best to consult a doctor if the pain and tightness persists.