The term “loose” is “a very derogatory statement,” Dr. Averbuch says. And calling a vagina “loose” misunderstands how the vagina actually works. “What I'd like others to understand is that the vagina is composed of multiple muscles that define the pelvic floor,” she says. “These muscles can tighten and relax depending on the circumstance (during arousal, the muscles relax). The relaxation of muscles can make the vagina more or less accommodating.”
What makes vaginal muscles weaken?
There is one major event that can make the vaginal muscles weaken: childbirth. “Repetitive trauma to the muscles, such as the delivery of multiple large children for some women, may weaken the muscles over time,” Dr. Averbuch explains. “Some women may deliver many large children and have no muscle weakness. Much of this is due to genetic predisposition and collagen make-up of tissue.”
These weakened muscles might lead to urinary incontinence — for example, leaking a few drops of pee when you laugh, cough, or sneeze. For some, these symptoms disappear a few weeks or months after childbirth, while for others, they persist long-term. Additionally, some people also experience weakened vaginal muscles when they go through menopause.
Pelvic floor physical therapy
Pelvic floor physical therapy can help with any condition affecting the pelvic floor muscles, including vaginismus (in which the muscles contract or spasm), pelvic floor dysfunction, and endometriosis. Your doctor can advise on the right treatment for you.