There is one milestone in a woman’s life that may not get talked about a lot, but it remains firm in our memory — it’s the first time that we notice that we’ve got a gray pubic hair. When I tell you that there’s nothing like it — Lawd, have mercy! I mean, even more than seeing the first gray hair on our head, there is something that is far more “What TF is going on?” about a gray pubic hair that…I’ll just say that if it hasn’t happened to you, just wait until it does.
I think it’s because, if anything is a true sign that time is marching on and we are getting older, it’s that. It’s also proof that, just like every other part of our body, vulvas (the outer part of our vagina) and vaginas do indeed age.
Is there anything that can be done to stop it? I’m gonna shoot it straight — absolutely not. That’s the “bad” news. The good news is there are all-natural tips that you can do to help slow down the signs of aging down below as well as things that can make that perfectly natural season of life so much easier to, not only deal with but actually embrace as well.
That said, let’s look at some top signs of vaginal aging along with some things that you can do about it, shall we?
1.Your top vulva area won’t seem as plump and full.
If you consider yourself to have a fat vagina (or someone has told you that you do), all that really means is your mons pubis (the top part of your labia, that part of your vulva where most of your pubic hair grows) is “meatier.” For the record, this can be due to genetics, weight gain, pregnancy, or hormone fluctuations.
Anyway, if this is the way it’s always been and it doesn’t seem to be as plump and full as it used to be, aging can definitely play a role and sagging can start to set in.
Two things that you can do (outside of a cosmetic procedure) that can reduce some of the sagging include doing exercises like leg lifts, crunches, and cardio and consuming more protein, citrus fruits, and dark leafy greens. By the way, two carrier oils that are great for saggy skin are grapeseed oil (thanks to its high amount of vitamin E and fatty acids) and tamanu oil (it contains properties that help to plump and tone the skin). Massage either or both onto your mons pubis after getting out of the shower on a daily basis to receive notice results within a few weeks.
2.Your pubic hair turns gray.
The rule that applies to the hair that’s on your head is the rule that applies to pubic hair too. Long story short, as you age, the pigment cells in your hair follicles start to die and that’s what prevents color (from the melanin) from running through them. Also, just like the hair on your head, when this happens has a lot to do with your genetics; however, overall, your late 30s is the average age for when those bad boys decide to make their official debut.
Gray hair is a fact of life and, for now, not much can be done about it. You can slow down the process of premature graying by reducing your stress levels; eating more copper-based foods (like dark chocolate, sesame seeds, and shiitake mushrooms); upping your doses of zinc, iron, and vitamin D; massaging the carrier oils sweet almond and/or rosemary onto it your pubic hair, and not using harsh chemicals on it.
If you read all of that and you were like, “Uh-huh, but how do I cover it up…NOW?”, there is a hair dye product that’s specifically designed for pubic hair. It’s called Betty and you can learn more about it here.
3.Your pubic hair also thins out.
As you get closer to menopause and certainly after you get past it, you may notice that the hair on your head as well as your pubic hair may start to thin out. Heredity, hormonal shifts, and even certain medications can play a role in this.
You can’t do much about what’s in your gene pool and, if it is a prescription that’s causing the thinning or hair loss, you should see your doctor. But, as far as your hormones go, there are some all-natural approaches that you can take.
Reducing stress levels. Taking care of your gut health. Reducing your sugar intake. Consuming some evening primrose oil (I am a huge fan!). Keeping your body at a healthy weight. Getting no less than 6-8 hours of sleep (not sometimes; consistently). Eating more anti-inflammatory foods like tomatoes, collards, almonds, olive oil, and black pepper. And having more sex (to get rid of some of that pent-up stress; make sure it’s protected if a baby will only cause more stress in this season of your life, though).
4.Your labia starts to sag.
Two things that we naturally produce less of as we get older are collagen and elastin. That’s why it’s common to notice that as people get older, their skin doesn’t appear to be quite as firm. The reality is that your skin doesn’t discriminate when it comes to your labia (your lips — inner and outer), so it can start to sag over time too.
Something that I’ve been doing lately, for the sake of my skin all over, is taking a collagen supplement. I can see a difference too because it helps my skin to keep that noticeable firmness whenever I pull on one of my cheeks and my skin still immediately “pops” back into place. Foods that are high in collagen include bone broth, fish, egg whites, chicken, and gelatin. You might want to massage your vulva (outside not inside) with some carrot seed oil because it helps to stimulate the production of collagen as well.
As far as elastin production goes, believe it or not, witch hazel has a pretty good reputation for helping out in that department. Just make sure that it’s also something that you apply externally not internally so that you don’t irritate the sensitive skin that’s within your inner lips and inside of your vagina.
5.Your vagina may get smaller.
Now when I say that your vagina might get smaller, what I’m referring to is your literal vaginal canal. As we age, our estrogen levels decrease and that can result in our vagina getting smaller in width and length. Here’s the thing about that, though — a lot of women don’t know that the average size of their vaginal canal is somewhere between 2.75 inches and 3.25 inches and that it goes up to 4.25 inches to 4.75 inches whenever they are sexually aroused.
That’s why the whole “I need a big D” really needs to be put to rest (check out “BDE: Please Let The 'It Needs To Be Huge' Myth Go”). The average size of a penis when it’s erect is 5.5 inches and yes, when your partner is into you and intentional about pleasing you, that actually is enough to get the job done; especially as you age.
For this one, there isn’t really a solution per se. What I will say is that with labiaplasty becoming more popular than ever, this is one side of vaginal aging that you might actually look forward to being that you won’t need to worry about making your vagina tighter…I mean, if time is already doing it for you.
6.Your vagina gets dry.
Outside of gray hairs, probably the most telling sign of vaginal aging is not being able to get as “wet” as you’re used to being (*le sigh*). You can “thank” your friend estrogen again for causing this because a lack of it can kick your vagina into vaginal atrophy (more on that in a bit)— a part of what comes with that is less natural lubrication.
We’ve all heard the saying, “If you don’t use it, you’ll lose it,” and that couldn’t be more true when it comes to keeping your vagina lubricated. In other words, increasing sexual stimulation can help to make vaginal dryness less of an issue. So does doing things like consuming more fluids; eating foods that are high in omega-3 fatty acids (including salmon, flaxseeds, chia seeds, egg yolks, and broccoli); taking a multivitamin (you need more vitamins A, B, D, and E in your system); ramping up your exercise regimen and doing Kegels specifically. Kegels are good because they help to increase blood flow to your pelvic region and that can help with improving your lubrication levels.
Applying a vaginal moisturizer every night and using a vaginal lubricant during sex can help tremendously in this area too. If you’d prefer to make your own lube, check out mindbodygreen’s article “How To Make Your Own All-Natural Vaginal Lubricant.”
7.Your vulva may turn lighter.
This particular aging sign may be one that you would never notice unless you’re someone who does vaginal self-exams on a consistent basis (which is always a wise thing, by the way). Still, they’re a good thing to put on record too. That said, it’s not uncommon for your vulva to turn a shade or two lighter as it gets older. The backstory here is that, as your estrogen levels shift, it can also decrease the amount of blood flow that your vulva and vagina receive which can cause them both to appear a bit paler.
Any place where your body is lacking blood flow, it’s going to need some sort of stimulation. Massages are what’s usually applied to other parts; however, when it comes to your vagina, basically a “coochie massage” would be some form of masturbation.
Other options include exercising, consuming foods that increase blood flow (including berries, onions, dark leafy greens, citrus fruits, and cinnamon); consuming black and/or green tea; easing up on the stress, and being intentional about monitoring your blood pressure levels.
8.Your vaginal walls will get thinner.
Remember how I said that we’d come back to vaginal atrophy? It’s kind of a long story but the bottom line is, the technical name for it is atrophic vaginitis, it typically occurs during menopause (although things like breastfeeding, birth control, and a hysterectomy can trigger it too) and it can cause your vaginal walls to get thinner, drier and inflamed.
Believe it or not, something that can help to bring relief to this particular issue is to increase sexual activity because it will bring more blood flow to your vagina. And even though your doctor might recommend some sort of estrogen therapy, there are some natural ways to get more estrogen into your system. Some of those things include eating more phytoestrogens (plant-based compounds that mimic estrogen) like sunflower seeds, walnuts, apples, grapes, and yams; taking an herbal supplement that contains phytoestrogens like dong quai, black cohosh, or chasteberry (you might want to run this by your physician first; especially if you’re on some sort of medication), and putting your body on a sleep schedule so that your rest habits are consistent.
9.You will be more vulnerable to STDs and UTIs.
Unfortunately, the natural loss of estrogen could also put you at risk for more STDs and UTIs (urinary tract infections). Why? Well, remember how I said earlier that your vaginal walls get thinner as you age? This means that they are more vulnerable to infection and, as far as UTIs go specifically, they are also more vulnerable to the growth of bad bacteria.
This is why it’s such a ridiculous myth that once you’re past menopause, you shouldn’t worry about using condoms because if you can’t get pregnant anymore, what’s to worry about? Listen, someone in their 70s can get an STD just as much as someone in their 20s can — some might say easier and quicker. As far as UTIs go, adding PURE cranberry juice (not the cocktail stuff) more into your diet; being intentional about peeing right after sex; avoiding the use of feminine hygiene products that contain harsh chemicals; consuming foods that are high in vitamin C (like red berries, cauliflower, tomatoes, papaya, and garlic); and wiping from front to back will all help to keep the risk of contracting one down.
10.Sex might be uncomfortable.
Thin vaginal walls and a dry va-jay-jay are not exactly ideal for some mind-blowing sex — that’s for sure. So, if you’ve not really noticed any of what I’ve said but all of a sudden sex feels less comfortable than it used to, this could also be a sign that an aging vagina is upon you.
The good news is applying some of the things that you’ve already read can help to make it more pleasant. So can changing positions, so that you are more in control of penetration. Ones that make this possible include the cowgirl position (you know, being on top), the lotus position (where you and your partner face each other while becoming a human pretzel), and the spoon position (where you each are on your side and he enters you from behind).
Aging — including vulva and vaginal aging — is a part of life. Once you accept it, you can get ahead of the process by putting these tips into practice.
Either way, don’t be too hard on the aging process that “she’s” either experiencing or going to experience. She’s been good to you. Give her time of “seasoning” some respect. She’s earned it.
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Different puzzle pieces are creating bigger pictures these days. 2024 will mark a milestone on a few different levels, including the release of my third book next June (yay!).
I am also a Professional Certified Coach. My main mission for attaining that particular goal is to use my formal credentials to help people navigate through the sometimes tumultuous waters, both on and offline, when it comes to information about marriage, sex and relationships that is oftentimes misinformation (because "coach" is a word that gets thrown around a lot, oftentimes quite poorly).
I am also still super devoted to helping to bring life into this world as a doula, marriage life coaching will always be my first love (next to writing, of course), a platform that advocates for good Black men is currently in the works and my keystrokes continue to be devoted to HEALTHY over HAPPY in the areas of holistic intimacy, spiritual evolution, purpose manifestation and self-love...because maturity teaches that it's impossible to be happy all of the time when it comes to reaching goals yet healthy is a choice that can be made on a daily basis (amen?).
If you have any PERSONAL QUESTIONS (please do not contact me with any story pitches; that is an *editorial* need), feel free to reach out at email@example.com. A sistah will certainly do what she can. ;)
This article is in partnership with Sensodyne.
Our teeth are connected to so many things - our nutrition, our confidence, and our overall mood. We often take for granted how important healthy teeth are, until issues like tooth sensitivity or gum recession come to remind us. Like most things related to our bodies, prevention is the best medicine. Here are five things you can do immediately to improve your oral hygiene, prevent tooth sensitivity, and avoid dental issues down the road.
1) Go Easy On the Rough Brushing: Brushing your teeth is and always will be priority number one in the oral hygiene department. No surprises there! However, there is such a thing as applying too much pressure when brushing…and that can lead to problems over time. Use a toothbrush with soft bristles and brush in smooth, circular motions. It may seem counterintuitive, but a gentle approach to brushing is the most effective way to clean those pearly whites without wearing away enamel and exposing sensitive areas of the teeth.
2) Use A Desensitizing Toothpaste: As everyone knows, mouth pain can be highly uncomfortable; but tooth sensitivity is a whole different beast. Hot weather favorites like ice cream and popsicles have the ability to trigger tooth sensitivity, which might make you want to stay away from icy foods altogether. But as always, prevention is the best medicine here. Switching to a toothpaste like Sensodyne’s Sensitivity & Gum toothpaste specifically designed for sensitive teeth will help build a protective layer over sensitive areas of the tooth. Over time, those sharp sensations that occur with extremely cold foods will subside, and you’ll be back to treating yourself to your icy faves like this one!
3) Floss, Rinse, Brush. (And In That Order!): Have you ever heard the saying, “It’s not what you do, but how you do it”? Well, the same thing applies to taking care of your teeth. Even if you are flossing and brushing religiously, you could be missing out on some of the benefits simply because you aren’t doing so in the right order. Flossing is best to do before brushing because it removes food particles and plaque from places your toothbrush can’t reach. After a proper flossing sesh, it is important to rinse out your mouth with water after. Finally, you can whip out your toothbrush and get to brushing. Though many of us commonly rinse with water after brushing to remove excess toothpaste, it may not be the best thing for our teeth. That’s because fluoride, the active ingredient in toothpaste that protects your enamel, works best when it gets to sit on the teeth and continue working its magic. Rinsing with water after brushing doesn’t let the toothpaste go to work like it really can. Changing up your order may take some getting used to, but over time, you’ll see the difference.
4) Stay Hydrated: Upping your water supply is a no-fail way to level up your health overall, and your teeth are no exception to this rule. Drinking water not only helps maintain a healthy pH balance in your mouth, but it also washes away residue and acids that can cause enamel erosion. It also helps you steer clear of dry mouth, which is a gateway to bad breath. And who needs that?
5) Show Your Gums Some Love: When it comes to improving your smile, you may be laser-focused on getting your teeth whiter, straighter, and overall healthier. Rightfully so, as these are all attributes of a megawatt smile; but you certainly don’t want to leave gum health out of the equation. If you neglect your gums, you’ll start to notice the effects of plaque buildup, which can irritate the gums and cause gingivitis, the earliest stage of gum disease. Seeing blood while brushing and flossing is a tell-tale sign that your gums are suffering. You may also experience gum recession — a condition where the gum tissue surrounding your teeth pulls back, exposing more of your tooth. Brushing at least twice a day with a gum-protecting toothpaste like Sensodyne Sensitivity and Gum, coupled with regular dentist visits, will keep your gums shining as bright as those pearly whites.
Watching Angela “Blac Chyna” White’s transformation in real-time has truly been a sight to see. It wasn’t that long ago that she announced that she was reversing her cosmetic surgeries in an effort to go back to who she was before the world came to know her as Blac Chyna. In previous interviews, she stated that she was dissolving her facial and lip fillers, removing her breast implants, and getting a butt reduction, as well as removing the dimple piercings that enhanced her fame and controversial tattoos.
In a recent Tamron Hall interview, the mother of two said that she has “fully recovered” from the procedures. She is also celebrating one year of sobriety and opened up about being worried about how her new journey would be received by others.
“I’ve been in the entertainment industry for so long, right, and of course, like, you know, coming out, I’m like young, I’m gonna do wild things as we all have,” she said.
“...I feel like by me being vocal and showing everybody you can change your life and things can get better, like through myself, that right there is an accomplishment, and that’s a part of freedom, too.”
But as she started on her journey, many people have shown her grace, which is something she’s grateful for. “And then the fact that people have been showing me grace, it’s like amazing,” she said. “And I feel like when I did it, I just did it. It was more so like spiritual thing and I feel like people see that, and I’ve always been like my authentic self, so what you see is kinda what you get with me, and that’s just kinda what it is.”
Chyna, who recently received an honorary doctorate from Sacramento Theology Seminary and Bible College, has also repaired her relationship with her mom, Tokyo Toni. The social media celebrity surprised her daughter on the Tamron Hall Show. Prior to the sentimental surprise, Chyna dished on the reconciliation and having a better understanding of her mom.
“I must say, some of the things I have to take accountability for because, like my actions. As a mother, you don’t want to see your daughter doing certain things ‘cause it’s like it doesn’t matter what my past was or what we’re going through, I didn’t raise you that way,” she admitted. “So, it’s like, okay, maybe I was a little bit wrong. Maybe I was acting out a little bit. But I feel like as we grow older, I kinda see more, and I understand more.”
Chyna will be starring in season two of Fox's reality competition show Special Forces: World's Toughest Test.
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