As a woman ages, her body undergoes many changes like skin wrinkling, graying of hair and difficulty in vision and hearing. What most women neglect are the changes that occur “down there.” Ladies, your vaginas to undergo some major changes as you get older. With bustling lives and being too busy taking care of the family, children, perhaps also a career, women hardly get the time or the thought of taking care of their intimate parts. Throughout a woman’s life, the vagina experiences certain changes. Here’s what all women need to understand about their lady parts and the changes that occur in every decade.
Vaginal changes during the 20s
A woman’s hormones are at her peak during her 20s, which makes it the best years of her life. This is mainly due to the sex hormones– estrogen, progesterone, testosterone are at their peak. Estrogen helps in maintaining the elasticity of the vagina. If you are sexually active during this time, your libido is in high gear. This may cause a rise in bacterial infections, urinary tract infections, and also sexually transmitted diseases. The vagina is a self-cleansing organ and produces a whitish discharge, which is considered normal. This discharge is affected by changes in the menstrual cycle.
Vaginal changes during the 30s
During the 30s, the labia starts to become darker because of hormonal changes. During pregnancy, the vaginal discharge may turn slightly milky and may emit certain unpleasant odors. After childbirth, the vagina loses some of its elasticity. With time, they may return back to almost their original size. Routine Kegel’s exercises help in regaining lost muscle tone and strength. One may experience vaginal dryness after taking oral contraceptives, but these symptoms tend to resolve on their own. At this age, women must start paying more attention to adopting a healthy diet and exercise along with regular health checkups.
Vaginal health during the 40s
Many women start experiencing symptoms of menopause during the 40s like hot flushes, irregular periods, vaginal dryness, etc. These changes occur due to a sharp fall in the estrogen levels. Vaginal dryness can lead to painful sexual intercourse, vaginal burning, irritation, and also an increased risk of contracting sexually transmitted infections. Regular sexual intercourse can help ease vaginal dryness and maintain its elasticity or by using hormonal vaginal creams.
Vaginal changes during the 50s and beyond
By this age, almost every woman has approached menopause, so the hormonal levels are at an all-time low. The vulva shrinks. Vaginal atrophy is another common problem experienced by many women during their 50s. The changes in the vaginal pH may lead to an increase in bacterial growth, which could cause vaginal infections. After menopause, women are also at a risk of developing vaginal prolapse. Vaginal prolapsed may also involve neighboring organs like uterus, bladder, and rectum. To prevent prolapse, exercises that help in strengthening the pelvic floor will come in handy.
The bottom line is, the vagina is an important organ in female reproductive health. But an aging vagina is not a concern and you can definitely keep it healthy by some simple daily care.