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Common Causes for a Tight Vagina and How to Loosen Things Up

Pelvic Floor Doctor

Medically Reviewed By Dr. Amanda Olson,DPT, PRPC

Why Too Tight | How to Treat | Too LooseResources 

Do you suffer from an abnormally tight vagina that causes pain during sex, penetration, or even when using a tampon?

If you answered “yes”, know that you’re not alone. Women around the world suffer from tightness of the vaginal opening or canal and feel that their vagina is too tight.

The good news is that aside from the rare physical abnormality or underlying health condition, the majority of vaginas can be trained to relax, loosen and accept objects such as a male penis or tampon using a combination of dilator or pelvic wand therapy and exercises to stretch the vagina.

This article will help educate you on the underlying causes of a tight vagina and on natural and easy to implement techniques to help improve its elasticity, loosening the opening and canal, reducing pain and discomfort during sexual activity or penetration.

Tight Vagina Uncomfortable

Can A Vagina be Too Tight? Common Underlying Causes 

There are a number of reasons why your vagina may feel tighter than usual and cause you to experience pain. Below we've listed common contributors.

Infections

Common infections that can cause tightness of the vagina include STDs (sexually transmitted diseases) as well as a vaginal yeast infection. 

Injuries or Physical Trauma

Injury to the area or surrounding tissues from accidents, physical trauma, childbirth or even rough sex can be contributing factors. Those injuries causing scar tissue may pose additional challenges.

Dyspareunia

This medical condition causes pain during penetrative sex, stemming from psychological or physical issues. Pain from dyspareunia can precede sex, or occur during or after intercourse. 

Changes to the Vaginal Tissues Post-Childbirth

Having children via natural childbirth can result in changes to the elasticity and sensitivity of the vaginal canal as well as physical changes to the muscles involved in giving birth.

For other new mothers, fluctuations in estrogen levels when breastfeeding can cause vaginal tightness. In other cases, scar tissue after birth could cause restriction of the pelvic floor itself.

Vaginismus 

This condition is marked by involuntary muscle spasms occurring just prior to penetration. These spasms can be both painful and embarrassing, occurring before sex, insertion of a tampon or during medical examinations.

Sexual Abuse or Assault

Sexual abuse of any type or degree is a traumatizing event that often has a lasting impact on the mental health of the victim. This can make sex, even normal, consensual sexual encounters, stressful and overwhelming. As a physical reaction, the body’s own “flight or fight” mechanism may cause involuntary tightening of the pelvic floor muscles muscles, leading to painful intercourse or an inability to achieve penetration.

Menopause and Hormonal Changes 

Hormonal changes due to medical conditions, medications or menopause later in life can result in a range of symptoms including but not limited to vaginal atrophy, reduced elasticity of the vagina, dryness (less natural lubrication), mood changes, weight gain and more.

Medical Conditions, Treatment or Medications 

There are several medical conditions, treatments and conditions that can result in a tightening of or an inability to easily ‘loosen up’. Cancer treatments such as radiation, conditions that inflame or irritate surrounding tissues and medications that affect hormones can all cause issues.

Strategies to Effectively Reduce Vaginal Tightness

Although every woman’s body and vagina is unique, there are several reliable methods you can easily incorporate into your regimen to aid in reducing the symptoms and underlying causes of feeling too tight.

One of the most effective, reliable, affordable and simplest ways to do this is with the use of a specially designed vaginal dilator.

Using Dilators to Stretch The Vagina

Many underlying medical conditions negatively affecting the elasticity of the canal can be addressed with what is known as a vaginal dilator. 

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What is a Vaginal Dilator?

A vaginal dilator is a medical device shaped to resemble a tampon or dildo that is gently tapered towards the point of insertion to make initial penetration easier. They are made from medical-grade materials engineered to be comfortable and gentle on the surrounding tissue, and available in a broad range of sizes and lengths.

How do Dilators Work?

When a vagina feels tight, a dilator works to gently loosen and expand the vaginal opening and canal, allowing you to progress at your own pace and increase the size and length incrementally as comfortability increases over time. See our article on how to stretch your vagina here.

These dilators train the vaginal muscles and tissues to relax and expand, encouraging blood flow and elasticity to the area, as well as calming the associated nerves during sex for example. 

Dilators also work to help women become psychologically more comfortable with the idea and feelings of penetration, increasing their level of comfort and calm at their own pace and on their own time in the privacy of their homes, while also increasing self-confidence.

Kegel Exercises and Stretching

Certain types of stretching and exercises can increase the level of voluntary control over the musculature and tissues of the vagina. Kegels are a contraction of the pelvic floor muscles and in most cases can make issues of vaginal and pelvic floor tightness worse and can increase pain.

Kegels should be avoided until pain and restriction in the pelvic floor have been addressed. 

Can a Vagina Be Too Loose?

In some instances, the vagina can feel too loose. Pregnancy and delivery of a baby can result in stretching and weakness of the pelvic floor muscles. This in turn can lead to a loss of tone and sensation of vaginal looseness.

Urinary incontinence, fecal incontinence, low back pain, chronic sacroiliac joint pain, and a sense of heaviness (pelvic organ prolapse) are all a sign of weakened pelvic floor muscles.

Additionally, as a person with a vagina ages, loss estrogen can result in changes to the vagina’s circulation which can also affect elasticity of the vagina and the skin around the vaginal opening. This can also result in declined feelings of arousal.

When a woman is aroused, the vaginal canal typically elongates slightly, and self-moisturizes. Being in a low estrogen state can occur while breast feeding, following menopause, or during periods of stress. This in turn can result in lack of moisturization which can be alleviated by using a personal lubricant.

These changes to the gynecological system can feel like a change in form and those who experience this may wish to tighten the vagina. Kegel exercises can be done to increase pelvic floor strength for improved sensation of vaginal tightness.

Kegels can be added to your personal care routine by squeezing the pelvic floor muscles as if you were shutting off the flow of urine for 3-5 seconds, for 10 repetitions, 3 times per day with rest intervals of 2-5 minutes in between. Vaginal weights or Kegel balls can also be used to strengthen the pelvic floor muscles and enhance vaginal tightness.

Vaginal weights can be placed in the vagina and worn while performing light household activities for 10-20 minutes per day to improve pelvic floor strength.

Closing Thoughts

Feeling that your vagina may be tighter than normal can be embarrassing, uncomfortable and painful. But it doesn’t have to be. Luckily there are cost-effective, safe and reliable ways for women to alleviate symptoms and regain confidence in the comfort of their own homes. Be sure to always consult your doctor as well.

By combining Kegel exercises with a vaginal dilator you can take back control of your body and live your best life.

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