How does a normal vagina change as the body ages? Read on to learn everything you need to know about your lady parts and how to keep them healthy at different stages of life.
In this article:
- Normal Vagina During Your 20s
- Normal Vagina During Your 30s
- Normal Vagina During Your 40s
- Normal Vagina During Your 50s and Beyond
The Normal Vagina for Different Age Groups
Normal Vagina During Your 20s
Your progesterone, testosterone, and estrogen levels are at an all-time high during your 20s. These sex hormones keep your vagina lubricated, acidic, and generally healthy. Overall, your vagina should be at its healthiest.
The increased production of sex hormones leads to heightened libido. There’s a high chance that a woman in her 20s will start to become sexually active during this timeframe.
While having sexual intercourse is perfectly healthy and natural, you should never forget to use protection. It will protect you from contracting almost any kind of sexually transmitted disease (STD) or infection.
The inner and outer labia surround the vaginal opening. Those in their 20s should generally have a thinner, smaller labia as compared to older women.
Sex causes bacteria to flow from the vagina to the urethra, so women who frequently have sex are at an increased risk of developing a urinary tract infection (UTI). What you can do to prevent this is to force the bacteria out of the body by urinating immediately after having sex.
Other possible issues include foul frequent vaginal secretions, pain during sexual intercourse, and vaginal irritation or itching.
Vaginal Health Tips
Unless you experience any symptoms of an infection or disease, the vagina shouldn’t need too much maintenance. Just remember to wash your genitals daily with gentle soap and clean water.
Normal Vagina During Your 30s
Women in their 30s may begin to notice slight changes with their vagina. It may lose skin elasticity, produce more vaginal discharge, become less lubricated, or look a bit darker than usual.
These symptoms are all normal, and they don’t usually indicate underlying signs of a disease or infection. They’re more likely the result of hormonal imbalance caused by aging and contraceptive use.
But during this time of your life, it’s best that you consult with an ob-gyn so they can guide you on how your reproductive tract system will change in the coming years.
You might notice that your vagina is starting to lose its light, pinkish color. This is primarily caused by a decline in your sex hormones.
During pregnancy, your vagina will discharge cervical fluid more often.
Normal discharge will have a milky appearance and faint odor. Abnormal discharge, on the other hand, may have a green or yellow hue and have a strong, fish-like smell.
After childbirth, it’s normal for the vagina to lose a bit of its skin elasticity. There’s no need to worry as it will return to its original size in just a matter of weeks.
If you want, you can help revert your vaginal tone by strengthening the pelvic floor muscles through some Kegel exercises.
Also, take note that contraceptives such as birth control pills may have side effects such as increased vaginal discharge production, spotting/vaginal bleeding, or vaginal dryness.
Vaginal Health Tips
Most of the time, minor signs and symptoms of vaginal irritation go away on their own. In cases where they don’t, however, it’s important to schedule an appointment with an ob-gyn right away.
Normal Vagina During Your 40s
The biggest struggle of vagina maintenance in your 40s is dealing with perimenopause. This is the stage at which the body prepares itself for menopause.
Hormonal changes will lead to certain complications and issues, but most of them can be resolved with the right treatment programs.
Perhaps the most obvious change you’ll notice in your vagina is with your pubic hair. During your 40s, your pubic hair will start thinning and turn gray.
A decrease in estrogen levels may cause vaginal atrophy.
Vaginal Atrophy Definition: A disease that causes the vagina’s tissue walls to become drier and thinner
Some symptoms of this disease include:
- Skin irritation and reddening
- Pain during sex
- Increased vaginal discharge
- Pain while urinating
- Susceptibility to STDs
Vaginal Health Tips
Women in their 40s need to create a regular routine where they take care of their lady parts. The goal should be to combat vaginal dryness and promote skin elasticity.
You can do so by using oral or topical vaginal estrogen and specialized moisturizers. If you’re vying for an all-natural treatment solution, you can try using olive or coconut oil to keep the vaginal skin moisturized.
We suggest consulting with an ob-gyn beforehand as your vagina might be sensitive to certain products.
Fun Fact: You can help slow down vaginal atrophy through sexual intercourse. The act of penetration increases blood flow to the genitals and promotes skin elasticity.
Normal Vagina During Your 50s and Beyond
By the time you hit 50, your estrogen levels will have dropped exponentially as compared to when you were younger, you may no longer be menstruating, and your vulva is gradually shrinking.
Just like any other part of the skin, the aging vagina is also prone to fine lines and wrinkles. It’ll also start sagging once you turn 50.
The severely depleted estrogen levels negatively affect vaginal acidity and pH balance. This leaves you prone to all kinds of bacteria and infections.
Vaginal Health Tips
These simple lifestyle changes can be very beneficial in maintaining the overall health of your vagina:
- Performing pelvic floor exercises
- Quitting smoking
- Following a healthy diet plan rich in vitamins A, C, and E
- Improving skin elasticity through a vaginal dilator
- Using lubricants and moisturizers
Note: In severe cases of urinary atrophy, the patient may need to undergo oral/vaginal hormone therapy treatment.
Just like any other part of your body, the vagina changes as you grow older, but that doesn’t have to be a bad thing!
There are even some women who become more sexually active as they age.
What’s important is you feel comfortable in your own skin and take care of your health. After all, you can’t stop your genitals from changing, but you can do your best to avoid age-induced disease signs and symptoms and maintain a healthy vagina.
Do you have any questions about maintaining a healthy, normal vagina? Post them in the comments section below!