Vaginal Tightening: Separating Myth from Fact

The female body has long been surrounded by a bit of mystery and no shortage of myths regarding appearance, function, and health.

Throughout the centuries women have endured a variety of procedures to enhance the health and function of their vagina and reproductive tract, some of which are downright unbelievable today.

As we age, our bodies continue to change, including everything down there. Because of all these changes, many of which are a normal part of our bodies’ life cycles, we seek out help to maintain the appearance, function, and health of our vaginas and vulvovaginal areas. 

What is Vaginal Tightening?

It’s exactly what it sounds like!

Vaginal tightening - sometimes called vaginal rejuvenation - refers to a procedure that reconstructs the vaginal canal, membrane, and other structures. Vaginal tightening procedures aren’t one-size-fits-all; women opt for surgery or non-surgical procedures depending on what suits their lifestyle. 

Traditional vaginal-tightening surgery is also known as vaginoplasty. It involves going under anesthesia and having a cosmetic surgeon or other healthcare professional. Most surgeries are performed as outpatient surgery and take an hour or two.

However, women with more severely relaxed vaginas may need a more complicated and longer surgery. The surgeon may use the traditional scalpel to remove excess tissue during the surgery or modern laser treatment. Women with more severe laxity are often candidates for vaginoplasty over radiofrequency or laser treatments. 

Why Would a Vagina Need Tightened?

Women’s bodies go through numerous changes throughout their lives, some of which can take a major toll on how your vulvovaginal components function.

Pregnancy and childbirth remain a common cause for vaginas loosening and not functioning as they did before. The muscles in your pelvic floor may become weakened by the stress of childbirth or pregnancy, resulting in uncomfortable or embarrassing symptoms.

Similarly, as women age and go through perimenopause and menopause, the reduction in hormone production can wreak havoc on your vagina and the tissues around your reproductive organs.

Myth: A Better Sex Life is the Reason for Vaginoplasty or Rejuvenation

Yes and no.

Certainly, some women choose to undergo vaginal tightening to increase their sexual pleasure. If your vagina is naturally a little ‘looser’ than you feel you enjoy or you’ve gone through life-changing events that have reduced the sensitivity in and around your vaginal canal, sex may not be as pleasurable as it once was.

A tightened vagina can cause more friction which often leads to greater sexual pleasure during intimacy. However, women choose vaginal rejuvenation for other reasons, as well.

Vaginal tightening surgeries are said to help women experiencing urinary incontinence due to any number of reasons (again, childbirth and menopause are huge players here and the proof is still not that reliable in the medical world).

Other women may experience discomfort wearing tampons or tampons falling out due to the size of their vaginal canal. Some women may even have trouble relieving their bowels associated with the vaginal canal. 

Myth: Vaginal Tightening has No Risks

False.

Like any medical procedure, vaginal tightening has risks associated with the procedure. Vaginal rejuvenation lacks long-term studies related to complications or satisfaction; in short, we don’t know the long-term effects or results of vaginal tightening with any sort of certainty yet.

Surgical procedures performed with anesthesia incur all the risks associated with ‘going under.’ In addition, some women may experience bleeding, spotting, pain, or infection - or worse. 

Myth: Non-Surgical Tightening Is Just as Safe as Surgery

This one’s a toss-up.

The FDA has issued warnings against healthcare providers using radiofrequency or laser treatments for vaginal rejuvenation procedures. While this is serious, these warnings are not because of faulty equipment or practice, but the lack of studies and tests for these devices.

However, numerous well-respected doctors offer these procedures. Many women are thrilled with the idea of being able to get the procedure done without having to compromise their lifestyle or day-to-day schedule. These non-surgical procedures can happen in between errands as opposed to having to schedule a surgery.

Here Are Some of the Common Reasons Women Consider Vaginal Surgery

  • Maybe you’re unhappy with the way your vagina looks (excessive labia or other cosmetic issues),
  • You have issues getting there during intercourse or foreplay
  • You’re experiencing medical issues due to laxity in your vagina
  • You are leaking urine doing daily tasks (and jumping is out of the question!)

First - speak with your OB/GYN about your options for vaginal tightening, discussing your symptoms, and what you hope to improve.

Read - Don't take our word for it, we have great articles written by MDs, therapists, personal trainers, nutritionists, and nurses.  Explore Bearberry and other quality blogs to help you learn about alternative methods for tightening your vagina!

You may find that you don’t need a tightening procedure after all, and bring on date night!