Quantcast
RELATED
what-happens-to-your-vagina-when-you-stop-having-sex
Women's Health

What Actually Happens To Your Vagina During Seasons Of Abstinence?

Ah, abstinence. If there is one topic that I can speak on, from very up close and personal experience, for years on end (le sigh), it would be this. And since I’ve actually noticed that more and more articles in cyberspace are talking about the fact that more and more people are practicing abstinence (for a myriad of reasons, chile) — I thought that this was a topic that might be of interest to some of you who may be considering it…but you aren’t sure what kind of price you will have to pay, as far as your vagina is concerned, in order to do it.


Now, before we get into all-a-dat, let me first say that a lot of what I’m about to share with you, you won’t notice until you decide to return to having sex. This is important to keep in mind because what I’m basically telling you is, while you’ve got your va-jay-jay on ice, for the most part, nothing really noticeable happens — at least, not to her directly. When your period rolls around, things might get a little dicey…but let’s not get too ahead of ourselves.

As far as the intro is concerned, as someone who’s had less bladder and yeast infections and less of a need to get pap smears (because when you’re not having sex, you don’t need them as often), in many ways, I think my vagina has been grateful to me for the sexually-related time off. Whenever I return, though, from what I’ve read, researched, and interviewed folks on…this is probably what I’ll have waiting for me. You too, chile. Ready?

What Happens To Your Vagina When You Stop Having Sex

1. Your Vagina Doesn’t Get As Tight As You Might Think

Giphy

Listen, not to ruffle any feathers or anything, yet I do find it pretty interesting that while so much of social media says that body count doesn’t matter, at the same time, vaginoplasty (a procedure that consists of tightening the vagina) and even hymenoplasty (a procedure that consists of creating a second hymen) are on the rise (chile). Anyway, if getting a tighter vagina is what you’re after, and you’re thinking that abstinence will do that for you, the answer is “yes” and “no.”

On one hand, your vagina is super resilient (which is why it can “bounce back” after you vaginally birth a child), and so, if you go some months or years without sex, it will tighten up somewhat; however, don’t rely on it to return to how things were before you were having sex (especially if you use a menstrual cup, large tampons or penetrative sex toys).

In some ways, this could be a good thing because, once you return to sex, although penetration might be a bit uncomfortable, it shouldn’t feel like the very first time you experienced coitus (unless you have lost some of your estrogen and progesterone levels which can affect the elasticity of your vaginal walls like when it comes to, say, menopause). And for most of us, that is a huge sigh of relief.

2. Your Vaginal Walls May Be a Bit Weaker

If you’re a woman who is returning to sex while you’re either on the tail end of perimenopause or during menopause, your vaginal walls may have become weaker. That’s because, as your body loses estrogen, it can create what is known as vaginal atrophy — and that can either make sex painful or it could irritate your vagina afterward.

Is there anything that you can do to avoid this? Ironically, remaining sexually active is one tip. However, if you exercise on a consistent basis, keep perfumed products outta there, and you drink a lot of water, all of this can help to keep your walls in a less fragile state as well.

3. Vaginal Lubrication Might Be Different

Giphy

One of the most telling signs that you’re sexually aroused is your body increases lubrication in your vaginal region. That’s because something known as your Bartholin glands are able to produce more fluid so that there is less friction during intercourse. If you don’t use them, while you won’t lose them, they can become a bit dormant, which means that they might need some time to get fully up and running (no pun intended) again — and that could take longer than the first couple of times that you return to sex.

Thankfully, there are lubricants on the market that you can use. Or, if you’d prefer to go the natural route, check out “Here's How To Increase Vaginal Lubrication. Naturally.” whenever you get a chance.

4. Vaginismus Might Become an Issue

If you’ve ever had a charley horse before, long story short, that’s what vaginismus is all about: feeling like you have a charley in your vagina. LISTEN. And how in the world does that happen? Well, if your vagina is used to having nothing up in it and then something like some fingers or a penis enter in, that could create involuntary muscle spasms that range from mildly uncomfortable to hella painful.

Is there any way that you can “pregame” to avoid this from becoming an issue? Kegels can help because they are teaching your vagina how to contract and release again. However, if it’s an ongoing issue, you might want to book an appointment with a reputable licensed sex therapist (check out “Have You Ever Wondered If You Should See A Sex Therapist?”); they can help you to see if what’s going on is physical or if there is some sort of stress or anxiety that’s triggering so much of the discomfort.

5. Your Menstrual Cramps May Intensify

Giphy

Okay, this is something that you may notice during your seasons of celibacy: your menstrual cramps may go up a notch. Why? Well, one thing that orgasms are able to do is actually reduce the amount of period tension that your body may experience. So, if you’re not gettin’ any, I’m sure you can see how that could mean a more uncomfortable situation during that time of the month. Of course, some women use masturbation as their abstinence workaround. If you’re one of them, then this point may not apply to you. Understood.

6. When You Return to Sex, It’ll Be Easier to Get a Yeast Infection

Aight, so here’s something that you might not be prepared for. If you’ve been practicing celibacy, gone a while without sex, and you return to it, you could end up with one hell of a yeast infection (I know, right?). What’s worse is it could happen whether you use a condom or not. How is this even possible? Well, when you didn’t have anyone else all up in your stuff, your vagina’s pH got used to that.

Then, once you decide to bring someone else’s bodily fluids into the mix, that can throw your pH totally off, which can result in an overgrowth of bacteria in your va-jay-jay — and that can cause a yeast infection (even if your partner doesn’t have one at the time of sleeping with you). And why/how would a condom do the same thing? Well, if the brand that you use contains spermicide, which can oftentimes irritate your vagina, also throw off your pH, and welp — here comes the itching, irritation, and unwanted discharge, chile. SMDH.

If It’s After Menopause, Consider This Too

Giphy

And what if you went through your season of abstinence during the 12 months when your period decided to stop completely? The main thing to stay on top of is getting your hormone levels checked because, when both your estrogen and progesterone levels are low, that can affect your holistic desire for sex — and that could end up gaslighting you if your mind is ready and yet…it’s still hard to get your heart and body to join in.

____

If you just read all of this and thought, “Damn. Is abstinence even worth it then?” — if you’re doing it to reset your mind, break some cyclic ish, rediscover your own sexual and relational needs, better understand the purpose of sex, and/or spiritually evolve…then YES, it’s worth every single day that you do it. Articles like this are simply designed to not blindside you — because, when you don’t use your vagina, sexually, you should know that it could go through a few “umm, what is going on?” moments as it gets its muscle memory back. Kind of literally.

The good news is our vaginas are resilient AF. So, while it could take a bit of adjusting to get back into the groove of things, with some prepping and patience…it will. It absolutely will.

Let’s make things inbox official! Sign up for the xoNecole newsletter for daily love, wellness, career, and exclusive content delivered straight to your inbox.

Featured image by Giphy

 

RELATED

 
ALSO ON XONECOLE
ItGirl-100-list-xoNecole

As they say, create the change you want to see in this world, besties. That’s why xoNecole linked up with Hyundai for the inaugural ItGirl 100 List, a celebration of 100 Genzennial women who aren’t afraid to pull up their own seats to the table. Across regions and industries, these women embody the essence of discovering self-value through purpose, honey! They're fierce, they’re ultra-creative, and we know they make their cities proud.

KEEP READINGShow less
Why-do-you-want-to-be-a-wife

Even though it’s my life, sometimes I look at it and totally trip out over certain things.

For instance, even though I am aware that both Hebrew and African cultures put a lot of stock in the name of a child (because they believe it speaks to their purpose; so do I) and I know that my name is pretty much Hebrew for divine covenant, it’s still wild that in a couple of years, I will have been working with married couples for a whopping two decades — and boy, is it an honor when they will say something like, “Shellie, we’ve seen [professionally] multiple people and no one has been nearly as effective as you have been.”

KEEP READINGShow less
LATEST POSTS