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Laxity

Written by: Becki Murray

Updated by: Becki Murray

Last Updated: 1 February 2024

We may not talk about it as publicly as wrinkles or even cellulite, but some degree of vaginal laxity occurring over time is just as normal for us women. That’s due to a variety of factors, including ageing and hormonal changes, and especially if you’ve had children. While it is a common concern, it is perfectly normal to feel concerned about vaginal changes, especially as laxity can have wide-ranging repercussions, particularly if it progresses, including for your day-to-day wellbeing and even your sex life too. Read our FAQs to gain an insight into what contributes to vaginal laxity, the potential consequences, and the best ways to tighten and tone the intimate area both effectively and safely, under the watchful eye of a trained practitioner.

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What is vaginal laxity?

Vaginal laxity refers to the loosening or relaxation of the vaginal tissues, often resulting from a loss of tone in the muscles and supporting structures of the vagina. Some degree of stretching and relaxation is a natural part of the ageing process and it commonly occurs as part of childbirth too. However, excessive laxity can have the ability to affect your quality of life, so don’t be afraid to seek treatment for it should it be bothering you.

What are the symptoms of vaginal laxity?

Symptoms of vaginal laxity include a feeling of general looseness in the area, but it can also affect your sex life. Reduced sexual satisfaction and difficulty achieving orgasm can both be associated with vaginal laxity (although this can also be due to other factors), and the condition may also worsen signs of urinary incontinence, such as leaks when you laugh or sneeze.

What can cause vaginal laxity?

Common causes of vaginal laxity include:

  1. Childbirth: The process of childbirth, especially vaginal delivery, can lead to stretching and trauma to the vaginal tissues. This commonly results in a loss of tightness, although it can have a permanent effect for some individuals, especially if you have a prolonged labour or multiple births.
  2. Ageing: As women age, hormonal changes, including a decrease in oestrogen levels during menopause, can contribute to decreases in the elasticity and thickness of the vaginal tissues. Reduced oestrogen can also lead to changes in the connective tissues and overall structure of the vagina, contributing to laxity.
  3. Genetics: Some women may be genetically predisposed to have naturally more elastic or less resilient vaginal tissues.
  4. Chronic Straining or Pressure: If you consistently undertake activities that involve excess straining, such as heavy lifting or even chronic constipation, this can lead to weakened pelvic floor muscles and laxity.
  5. Obesity: Excess body weight can lead to increased pressure on the pelvic floor, potentially leading to stretching of the vaginal tissues.
  6. Lifestyle Factors: Certain lifestyle choices, such as smoking, can have negative effects on collagen production and overall tissue health, potentially contributing to vaginal laxity.
  7. Previous Surgery: Surgical procedures in the pelvic region, including certain gynecological surgeries, may impact the integrity of the vaginal tissues and cause laxity over time.

Will my vagina be lax after pregnancy?

As mentioned above, pregnancy and childbirth can contribute to changes in the vagina, and some women may experience a loss of tightness or elasticity in the vaginal tissues following childbirth. While some degree of vaginal changes is normal and expected after childbirth, the majority of women may find that the vagina gradually returns to a state of increased tone over time. The degree of vaginal changes varies among individuals, but several factors influence the impact of pregnancy on the vagina:

Type of Delivery: Vaginal delivery can lead to stretching of the vaginal tissues, potentially causing laxity. C-section delivery, which involves an incision in the abdominal wall rather than the vagina, has less of an impact on vaginal tone, but affects the stomach area much more.

Number of Pregnancies: Women who have had multiple pregnancies or delivered large babies may be more likely to experience changes in vaginal tone.

Pelvic Floor Health: The health and strength of the pelvic floor muscles, which support the vagina, can influence postpartum vaginal tightness.

Hormonal Changes: Hormonal fluctuations during pregnancy and postpartum can affect the vaginal tissues. Breastfeeding, in particular, is associated with lower oestrogen levels, which may influence vaginal health.

 

 

 

 

Can a lax vagina be tightened?

Yes, there are various non-surgical and surgical options available for addressing vaginal laxity and tightening the vaginal tissues. The choice of treatment depends on the severity of the laxity, the underlying causes, and your preferences.

What exercises can help with a lax vagina?

Pelvic floor exercises, commonly known as Kegel exercises, can help strengthen the pelvic floor muscles, which provide support to the vaginal tissues. This means that regular and correct practice of Kegel exercises may improve vaginal tone and tightness over time. Luckily, there are plenty of videos online that can help you accomplish them, but to ensure your technique is correct, it is best to liaise with a medical professional.

You can also improve the results of exercise-based pelvic floor tightening using biofeedback. Biofeedback involves using electronic monitoring to provide visual or auditory cues about pelvic floor muscle activity. This technique helps you perform Kegel exercises more effectively and can contribute to improved muscle tone.

What tweakments are available for vaginal laxity?

Laser Therapy: Laser therapy for vaginal rejuvenation can stimulate collagen production, improve blood circulation, and enhance the overall elasticity of the vaginal tissues. It can also have a tightening effect on the vaginal walls. Different types of laser can be used, specifically CO2 lasers, such as SmartXide Touch, which deliver controlled energy to the vaginal tissues, and Erbium YAG lasers that target the water in the tissues, resulting in controlled ablation and collagen stimulation.

Radiofrequency (RF): Radiofrequency treatments involve the use of energy to heat the vaginal tissues, stimulating collagen production and promoting tightening. These treatments can be non-invasive or minimally invasive depending on the device used, with a series of sessions potentially required for optimal results.

HIFU: High-Intensity Focussed Ultrasound is another non-invasive treatment that uses energy to heat the vaginal tissues to promote tightening.

Are there any other considerations to bear in mind?

It’s essential for women concerned about vaginal laxity to consult with a specialist to discuss their symptoms before seeking treatment. Effective, safe solutions require the oversight of a gynecological expert, so an appropriate option based on your individual needs can be provided. Additionally, understanding the potential risks, and realistic expectations is integral, especially for interventions that require invasive action.

Are there surgical treatments for treating vaginal laxity?

If you are struggling with significant vaginal laxity, surgical treatment may be recommended. In particular, vaginoplasty is a targeted surgical procedure that involves the tightening and reshaping of the vaginal canal. It can be performed to address significant laxity, especially after childbirth, with the procedure tailored to your specific needs.

Similarly, perineoplasty is a surgical procedure that focuses on repairing and tightening the tissues in the perineal area, which is the region between the vagina and the anus. This procedure may be considered for women experiencing laxity in this area. Meanwhile, while labiaplasty primarily focuses on reshaping the labia minora or majora, it may also help tighten the vaginal entrance to some extent.

Can medication help with vaginal laxity?

While not the main purpose of HRT (hormone replacement therapy), if vaginal laxity is associated with the hormone changes of menopause, specifically decreases in oestrogen, the medication can help with symptoms. This is because oestrogen can help improve the elasticity and thickness of the vaginal tissues.

How much, on average, would treating the concern cost?

Treating vaginal laxity ranges quite widely in cost, especially depending on the severity of your issue. Kegel exercises offer a free option for mild laxity, due to their strengthening of the muscles in the area, whereas surgery reaches into the thousands, but may be necessary for a significantly lax vagina.

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