Your vagina ages just like the rest of you, but you can do it gracefully. Here’s every method we could find of how to keep your lady parts strong and toned in the face of gravity, baby deliveries, and time itself!
1. Drink a lot of water
Water’s good for everything, from making your internal organs run better to making your skin look plumper and brighter. Those benefits apply to your vaginal skin, too. Hydrating your body also keeps your store of natural vaginal lubricants full. Get your 9 cups of water a day!
2. Drop that douche
Nobody douches anymore, and you shouldn’t either. Douching was a phase several decades ago, but the American College of Obsetricians and Gynecologists (ACOG) doesn’t recommend that women do it. It can interfere with pH levels, reducing the natural acidity inside your vaginal canal and making bacterial infections more likely. When showering, use a little non-irritating soap on the outside of your vulva and labia, but there’s no need to get inside your vagina itself.
You probably knew that Kegels would be on this list! Kegel exercises, where you squeeze and/or hold your pelvic floor muscles to strength them, are easy to do almost anywhere you are and do wonders to tighten and tone. In addition to getting you a vagina like a vice, Kegels can help prevent or correct urinary or fecal incontinence.
4. Get more control during sex
Taking a more active role during sex works your vaginal muscles more effectively. If you’re on top or otherwise driving the motion of sex, chances are you’re getting a good internal workout from it. Tap into that mind-body connection during sex: tell yourself to squeeze your pelvic floor muscles, and it’ll happen more often and more intensely.
5. Don’t cycle through weight changes
Gaining and losing a lot of weight can have long-lasting effects on your skin, namely sagging where fullness used to be. These effects can happen in your genitals, too. The best way to keep your vaginal skin looking young is to avoid gaining and losing a large amount of weight (other than pregnancy weight, which is distributed differently).
6. Have safe sex
Preventing sexually transmitted diseases is one of the best, most effective ways of keeping your lady bits youthful. Condoms protect against STDs like HIV, genital herpes, gonorrhea, chlamydia, and genital warts, all of which can wreak havoc on your vagina’s appearance (among other, more serious health effects). Remember that hormonal birth control only helps with preventing pregnancies, not infections.
7. Get a haircut
As you age, your pubic hair might go gray and get thinner. If you’re not happy with the changes, you have three options:
Shave it all off. Many women say they experience increased sensations without hair, and you might like the way it looks!
Dye it. Note that you should see a qualified beautician to take care of this for you; dying your pubic hair yourself is risky because your vulva is highly sensitive and dyes can be harsh.
Get a wig. A merkin is a pubic hair wig. They really do exist, and you can find one in any color you can imagine!
8. Have orgasms
Whether on your own, during sex, or both, keep having those orgasms. The more you use your genitals, the more rejuvenating blood pumps through them. “Use it or lose it” applies to your vagina, so don’t be shy about getting yourself off as much as you want!
9. See your gynecologist regularly
You should start seeing a gynecologist either when you turn 21 or within 3 years of your first sexual activity, and once a year after that. Prevention and early detection are incredibly important when it comes to infections, diseases, or just basic hygiene.
10. Good hygeine rules
The basics that your mom told you still apply: change your tampons and pads regularly, wipe from front to back, and don’t wear pantyliners if you don’t have your period (to catch normal vaginal discharge). Taking care of your vaginal health on a daily basis through good habits will fight aging.
11. Avoid long bike rides
Some experts say that the friction and unnatural sitting position involved in long-distance cycling can put extra pressure on the labia and vaginal entrance. Don’t worry about this if you’re a casual biker, but if you’re spending a few hours on the bike at a time, be aware that cosmetic vaginal changes could be a risk, especially if you have larger labia majora (outer lips) to begin with.
12. Use lube during sex
Lube is sex’s best friend: you really can’t use too much of it. Even healthy, hydrated women often don’t produce enough natural lubricant to make sex slippery the whole way through. Having sex without enough lube can be painful and irritating to your skin, both externally on your vulva and inside your vagina. Lubing up reduces dragging and pulling on your skin and makes sex more pleasurable.
13. Dress smart
Your clothing choices can help–or hurt–your vaginal appearance. Don’t wear underwear or clothing that’s too tight: not only will it chafe your labia and be really uncomfortable, but you don’t want to be rocking that cameltoe. Avoid wearing hot or moist clothing for too long, whether it stems from a hot day or a recent workout. You don’t want to marinate in sweaty clothes; it creates an environment ripe for infection. Lastly, try sleeping without undies to “air out” overnight and let your body breathe.
14. Don’t have overly rough sex
Rough sex can be fun, but don’t get so rough that it hurts you. Vaginas are incredibly strong–they have to be to deliver entire human beings!–but even they have their limits. You know your limits better than anyone, including what’s normal for you: some women experience a little bleeding every time they have sex, but others never do. If something hurts or feels uncomfortable, don’t push it. Extremely rough sex can lead to vaginal trauma and damage that can take weeks to recover.