As we go through stages of life, we can’t forget that our vaginal health is coming right along with us. Our body’s ecosystems are changing as we age and our needs begin to morph and grow.
Vaginal health in your 20's.
Your 20's is a prime time for reproduction. According to the CDC, the average age at which a woman gives birth to her first child is 26. In a healthy woman, the pelvic floor is in ideal reproductive condition around this age, making it the ideal time to bear a child anatomically-speaking.
During your 20's, vaginal muscles are at their strongest and self-lubrication is not a problem for most women. Some birth control options may affect lubrication, however, and it is recommended to avoid artificial ingredients when choosing a lubricant.
When doing your part to avoid STIs, make sure not to use coconut oil if your partner is using latex condoms. They have been shown to damage the latex material, putting the woman at greater risk of exposure to STIs.
Vaginal health in your 30's
Although the vagina is not as strong, labor feels more intense, and it may take longer to recover than a woman in her 20's, ladies in their 30's are still delivering healthy babies. In fact, more women are having their first children in their 30's than ever before!
Vaginal muscles aren’t as strong as in the 20's at this time, so kegel and wall strengthening exercises may be necessary to maintain strength. There are also vaginal tightening therapies that have been found effective.
Also, lubrication will decrease at this time. If that happens, you can go to your doctor and ask for medicated cream or purchase non-toxic lubricants. If lubrication is not used, painful intercourse may result.
Vaginal health in your 40's
This is the time in a woman’s life where she can still potentially give birth to a child and experience the end of her fertility. Menopause is most likely to occur between the ages of 45 and 55 according to the North American Menopause Society. During a woman’s 40's is the time when she is most likely to experience perimenopause, which means ‘around menopause’.
It is the transition from being fertile to being in the state of menopause. During this phase of life, estrogen levels start to decline. As a result, a woman may experience more dryness and weaker pelvic floor muscles due to less blood flow to the area.
To combat the muscle weakness, an increase of physical activity may have to be added to your regimen to strengthen core muscles such as barre, yoga or other core-strengthening workouts.
We’re proud to have helped generations of women around West Islip, NY through various transitions of life. If you need an OB/GYN in the area, contact South Bay OB/GYN at 631-203-8893.