Recently, while having a conversation with a 50-something-year-old friend of mine, she brought up something that somewhat inspired me to write this piece. As we were discussing subtle (and not-so-subtle) changes that we were noticing about our bodies, because she knows that I am pretty much a research addict, she asked me (almost in a blaming tone of voice), "So, how come you didn't tell me that as we get older, we lose our body hair? I haven't needed to shave my legs in a couple of months now and…" Right when "and" came out, she pointed down to her vaginal area and opened her mouth into a wide "o" position.
Yes, ladies, it is indeed true. As we go through menopause, keeping our bikini line clean becomes less and less of an issue or necessity. In fact, as we age and experience different things in life, our vaginas can go through all sorts of changes. Birth control and menopause tend to produce less lubrication. Pregnancy can cause vericose veins on our vulva. Rises and dips and weight (along with the loss of collagen over time) can result in the vulva (the outer part of our vagina) sagging. Constant shaving can alter the pigment and texture of our vulva too.
Believe you me, I'm not sharing all of this with you to totally stress you out. I'm sharing it because, all of these facts of life, are a blaring reminder that our vagina (and vulva) deserve just as much TLC as the rest of our body does. I also brought up this info because, as much as we may not want to think about it, vaginas age like the rest of us does.
That's the "bad" news. The good news is there are all sorts of things that you can do, starting today, that will make your vagina both look and feel like a fountain of youth. Yes, literally.
1. Stay Hydrated
They say that 75 percent of Americans are not only dehydrated but chronically dehydrated. Considering that we're made up of about 60-65 percent water, it's easy to see why dehydration causes all sorts of health issues. Not only does not having enough water make you thirsty, it can cause toxins to build up in your system, affect your mood, mess with your attention span and can even cause your brain to become depleted of the fluid that it needs. Another problem with dehydration is it can cause your blood to become more concentrated which can do a real number on your kidneys.
As far as your vagina is concerned, the more water you have, the healthier your discharge will be, the more lubrication your body will be able to produce and, the more moisturized and yes, youthful-looking your vulva will appear.
So, what are you waiting for? Drink up!
2. Swap Out Your Office Chair for a Fitness Ball
Something that could be making your vagina "lazy" is that office chair of yours. Before getting into why I say that, although not all scientists agree with the saying "sitting is the new smoking", what they and medical professionals can get on one page about is constant sitting without taking breaks isn't good for your health. For this reason alone, it's a good idea to get up every 30 minutes or so to stand at your desk or walk around the office for a couple of minutes, just to get your legs moving and your heart rate up a bit.
Another smart thing to do is ask your boss if they are cool with you bringing a fitness ball to sit on. Even if you don't sit on it all day long, a good 30 minutes or so will help to strengthen your core, improve your posture and also give your vagina a bit of a workout, without you even noticing.
3. Cycle Differently
It might sound weird, but if you like to ride your bicycle a lot or you take a regular spin class, while it's doing wonders for your heart, it is actually working against your vagina; at least it is if your bike's seat doesn't have enough cushion on it.
A hard seat not only causes extra friction and can cut off your blood's circulation down there, it can stretch your labia majora and labia minora (your vulva's inner and outer lips) over time too.
So yeah, it's important to look for a seat that has as much cushion as possible, and to position your handlebars up higher than your bike's seat. That will result in less pressure being placed on your body's lower region.
4. Try Some Salvia Sclarea and Ghee Butter
What the heck is Salvia sclarea? It's basically another word for clary sage. If you get clary sage in the form of an essential oil, it contains antibacterial properties that can help to fight off vaginal infections. It's also the type of oil that balances hormones, increases blood circulation (which means intensified orgasms), decreases menstrual cramp pain, reduces hot flashes and improves the appearance of your vulva skin overall. If you add a few drops of it to some ghee butter, the fatty acids in the ghee will deeply penetrate your skin, making this the ultimate anti-aging combo. Even for your va-jay-jay.
5. Or Apply a Little Vulva Lipstick
I know, right? Who woulda ever thought that there was such a thing as vulva lipstick, but indeed there is! Although I never really thought about it until I read what the manufacturers said, it is true that sometimes my vulva lips look and feel a bit dryer than other times. And dry skin? It always looks older than it should.
If you can relate and you want to try something that's a little outside of the box, a company named VMagic makes a literal vulva lipstick that is 100 percent organic. It comes in a lipstick tube and everything. It definitely serves as my "something new" for the day. How about you?
6. Do More Than Kegels
You've probably read at least a dozen articles before that talk about how kegels can help to strengthen your pelvic floor which can also weaken as we age. A strong "floor" can prevent incontinence and also keep orgasms going strong. But it's not only kegels that will keep your vagina in good shape. Investing in a pair of Ben Wa balls (or a Yoni egg or vaginal cone) and/or doing squats and vertical scissors (also known as scissor lifts) are also ways to give your vaginal area the total workout that it needs.
7. Dye “Her” Hair
As far as my vagina (the "inner tube" that leads to my uterus) and vulva (the outer part of my vagina) go, I think what I've had to adjust to the most are the grey hairs that are popping up more and more, with every passing year. I keep things trimmed pretty low down there, so dyeing it hasn't been something that I've felt the need to do. But if you've also got some greys and you (and/or your man) like your hair to be on the fuller side, coloring it is an option. While I wouldn't recommend you going the traditional box brand route, there is a dye called Black (or Brown) Betty that is specifically designed to color your pubic hair. It's got pretty good customer reviews too so, hey, it's worth a shot.
8. Do the "Cowgirl Position" (Be on Top) More
They say that if you want your breasts to naturally remain firmer for longer, you should sleep on your stomach as little as possible. The reason why is doing that can stretch your breast tissue and that can lead to mild drooping over time. I thought about that when I also discovered that while the missionary position is great on so many levels, it's not always the kindest to your lower lady parts. Constantly being on your back during sex can result in your vaginal walls getting stretched out.
You can counteract that by riding cowgirl more often. It will give you more hip control and, it's actually the kind of sex position that will make it easier to do your kegels while you're having intercourse; something that both of you will benefit from, no doubt!
9. Get Your Nutrients In
A few weeks ago, I wrote an article on here about some of the foods that will make your vagina especially happy. But even if you don't prefer the ones on the list, it is important to get in lots of Vitamin C (it's loaded with antioxidants); Vitamin E (it's great for your libido); some fresh rosemary (it fights bacteria and infections); probiotics (it keeps your digestive tract and vaginal health on track) and ginger (it contains potent anti-inflammatory properties).
There's no way around the fact that a healthy diet is another key to keeping your vagina looking, smelling and even tasting good. Don't skimp on this.
10. Climax. Often.
All you have to do is click on the "love" and then "sex" portion of our site to know that there is no way that I could pen a piece on how to keep your vagina young without mentioning that orgasms will always work in your favor. Whether you get them via penetration or clitoral stimulation, every time that you climax, blood rushes to your vagina which gives its tissue the nutrients that it needs. Plus, orgasms are one of the most effective (and enjoyable) ways to develop the muscles in your vaginal area too.
So, if you want your vagina to be a fountain of youth—by the way, I say "fountain" because your lubrication is proven to be the ultimate probiotic for your partner—for years to come, have sex and a lot of it! "She"—and all of the rest of you for that matter—will be oh so grateful that you did.
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Feature image by Getty Images
Originally published August 14, 2019