Vaginal laxity is something that many women experience. This can become more of an issue as a woman ages, particularly those who have given birth. Like many other signs of aging, loss of vaginal tightness is related to a reduced level of collagen. If you’re concerned about rejuvenating your most intimate area, you should first understand how collagen works in our bodies, how it relates to your vaginal anatomy, and how vaginal laxity treatments can help.
Collagen is an essential part of your physical self. Collagen exists everywhere in your body, from your skin and bones to your blood vessels and organs. It helps provide structure and strength to all of these places, and it is what helps give your skin its elasticity. As we get older, our body stops producing so much collagen. We see evidence of this in the way our skin and hair changes in texture as we age. Lower collagen levels can also contribute to a loss of bone density and joint flexibility. A recent study even suggested a collagen-related link between facial wrinkles and bone loss in women.
Collagen is essentially the “glue” that holds your body together, and it also plays a key role in cell turnover.
Collagen and Vaginal Laxity
Collagen is also an important component of your vaginal tissues. As you age and your body’s collagen production decreases, these tissues begin to degrade. This can lead to vaginal dryness and a loss of laxity. This can cause women to become self-conscious about their genital areas, to the point that some may even avoid sexual intimacy. Vaginal laxity may also lead to a decline in sexual enjoyment due to a loss in sensation.
Treatments for Vaginal Laxity
Thankfully, we live in a time where you don’t just have to resign yourself to living with vaginal laxity issues. As science and medicine have developed a more intricate understanding of how our bodies work, medical and cosmetic treatments have become more sophisticated. One of the top procedures for vaginal laxity is Viveve®, a nonsurgical treatment that uses cooled monopolar radiofrequency waves (CMRF) to stimulate collagen fibers within the skin, muscle and other tissues of the vagina. This can help to tighten and tone the tissues inside the vagina without the need for anesthesia, needles or downtime.
If you are interested in treatments for vaginal laxity, consult a board-certified plastic surgeon who specializes in cosmetic gynecology. Be sure to ask lots of questions at your consultation to help you decide if a procedure is right for you.
What Else You Can Do About Collagen Decline
Some age-related loss of collagen is inevitable. Genetics can also affect how well your skin ages in general. Of course, you should take good care of yourself if you want to keep your skin and other tissues as healthy as possible over time.
- Eat healthy foods. Eating a nutritious and balanced diet is essential if you want to look and feel your best. Get plenty of healthy proteins, and lots of Omega 3 fatty acids to give your body what it needs to produce collagen and all those other key ingredients to health and vitality.
- Get your vitamins. Ideally, you should get all the vitamins you need from the food you eat. Of course, this isn’t always how it works out. You may want to consider adding a vitamin supplement to your diet. Talk to your doctor about whether you could benefit from taking a multivitamin regularly.
- Exercise Regularly. Research has shown some indication that exercise helps improve skin condition as we age. Keeping an exercise regimen will help you stay more fit and healthy, too. Major weight fluctuations can also contribute to a loss in vaginal tightness.
Dr. Jennifer Harrington is a board certified plastic and reconstructive surgeon and an adjunct professor at the University of Minnesota. Harrington Plastic Surgery is pleased to offer the most advanced cosmetic and reconstructive techniques performed by a highly specialized all-female team of board-certified plastic surgeons and professional staff.