How Your Vagina Changes In Your 20s, 30s, 40s And 50s
Photograph by Dan Forbes
Your lady parts are changing — it’s true.
Here’s a snapshot of the vagina over the decades from your 20s, 30s and beyond …
In your 20s
Puberty’s over (thank goodness) and your organs have reached their adult size. Except, that is, for your labia majora – the outer “lips” that enclose the rest of your privates. Don’t be shocked to see these looking slimmer. As you age, subcutaneous fat, including that of your genitals, decreases.
In your 30s
The big stretch
The uterus balloons to watermelon proportions during pregnancy – then shrinks back down within six weeks after birth. In 2012, Fedhealth’s statistics over three years found that 76 percent of women now deliver by C-section, sparing their vag opening similar stretching.
The hormone shifts that come with pregnancy or ageing can cause your labia minora, the “inner” lips that encircle the clitoris and vaginal opening, to darken in colour. So you can relax if, on your next self-check, it’s like 50 shades of (mauve-ish) grey down there.
In your 40s
Though a woman’s egg supply dwindles rapidly in her early forties, she still ovulates and (sigh) gets her period. Cycles are a bit shorter, though, and tend to peter out by age 51 – i.e. menopause. Your body puts an end to fertility five to 10 years before that.
Your repro organs are supported by a hammock of tendons, tissue and muscle. Extra kilos, ageing or years of high-impact workouts can loosen this pelvic floor, straining organs and causing bladder leakage or a “heavy” feeling down below. Your move: Kegel exercises!
Lower oestrogen levels affect the vagina’s acid-alkaline balance, which can spur inflammation – along with thinning and drying of the vaginal walls, which can cause itching, burning and redness. Silver lining: regular sex can prevent this (get on it!).
Looking for more info on your most sensitive spot? We’ve got the answers to all your vagina questions.