Can Vaginas Get ‘Loose?’

Here's what can and can’t change the size and shape of things down there.

Your vaginal muscles are actually very elastic. And while they can stretch and weaken over time, your vagina will eventually return to its original shape, or at least pretty close.  Despite what some people might think, you can’t “wear out” a vagina. 

Aging and childbirth can change the shape and size of your vagina. But, these changes don't permanently give you a loose vagina. And although your vagina may lose some elasticity with age, having lots of sex won’t affect how “tight” it is. 

Here's what actually affects your vaginal muscles, and why.

A person looking at their vagina with a microscope

Predrag Popovski / Getty Images

Can Sex Cause A Loose Vagina?

No amount of penetrative sex makes the vagina permanently loose. This idea is not only harmful and shames people for having multiple partners, but it's also not medically accurate.

During sex, the vagina naturally lubricates, and its muscles expand to accommodate a penis or sex toy. But after you get it on, your vagina goes back to its pre-sex shape. 

Penetration does not permanently stretch out your vagina. So even if you have regular sex and/or multiple sex partners, your vagina will return to its shape afterward.

Can Childbirth Cause A Loose Vagina?

Vaginal childbirth and pregnancy can stretch vaginal muscles and weaken the pelvic floor. This can make the vagina feel loose and stretched, but it's not typically permanent. Your vagina should return to normal a few days after delivery, or at least pretty close.

Your pelvic floor consists of muscles around your bladder, bowels, vagina, and uterus. These muscles help control your bladder control and tighten the opening to your vagina. During pregnancy, these muscles help support the growing uterus to accommodate the baby, which can weaken and stretch them over the course of pregnancy or during labor.

Completing exercises, like Kegels, to strengthen these muscles can also help them regain their shape.

One exception may be a birth injury to your vagina from forceps or vacuum extraction. These instruments help guide the baby out of the birth canal and can cause tearing of your vaginal muscles and tissue. An episiotomy, a type of incision that cuts into the perineum — the area between your vagina and anus — to assist during birthing, can also cause long-term damage. Fortunately, episiotomies are no longer routinely performed. 

Can Aging Cause a Loose Vagina?

Aging naturally changes your whole body, and your vagina is no exception. In fact, you may start noticing changes to your vagina’s elasticity as early as your 40s.  

As you enter perimenopause, your vaginal tissue can become dry and thin, and your pelvic floor muscles more relaxed.

Dropping estrogen levels decreases blood supply to your vaginal muscles, which affects the elasticity of your vaginal tissue.

Aging also comes with a decrease in collagen. Collagen is a protein found within your all of the different structures in your body like your skin, bones, and muscles. Lower levels of collagen can lead to a weaker pelvic floor. And these hormonal and cellular changes make your vagina feel looser with age. 

How To Strengthen Your Vagina

Contrary to what some people might think, the vagina isn't actually supposed to be "tight." A tight vagina is a painful health issue often linked to a condition like vaginismus. 

Vaginismus is often related to pelvic floor issues or a history of sexual abuse. People with this condition have involuntary contractions of the pelvic floor muscles in reaction to penetration. This tightness can make sex extremely painful.

Strengthening your pelvic floor muscles typically involves kegel exercises. Kegels are exercises where you clench and release your pelvic floor muscles. Think of it as a workout for your vagina, but it's strengthening the muscles around your uterus, bladder, and bowels, too. 

Research shows that people who routinely complete Kegels after birth can help improve blood flow and tighten up the muscles around their vagina.

So how do you actually do Kegels? Here's the gist:


  1. Empty your bladder.
  2. Sitting or standing, clench the muscles in your pelvis. It should kind of feel like you're trying to hold in pee.
  3. Clench these muscles for three seconds.
  4. Release the muscles for three seconds. It should feel similar to how you'd stop holding in urine to actually pee.
  5. Repeat up to ten times, three times a day.


Make sure you breathe through kegel exercises and don't squeeze your thighs, butt, or stomach muscles. You can also do Kegels while pregnant to help preemptively strengthen the pelvic floor.

Some practitioners also suggest trying vaginal cones to help strengthen your vaginal muscles. These weighted objects sit inside the vagina during Kegels to increase the intensity of your exercise. Research shows vaginal cones or balls may help treat urinary incontinence following birth. But research is limited on how effective it is for other pelvic floor issues.

A Quick Review 

Having a lot of sex will not give you a loose vagina, but childbirth and aging can make your vagina feel loose. Still, the whole idea of a loose vagina is really a misnomer. Your vagina muscles can become weaker and stretched, but they are elastic and typically bounce back with time or exercises like Kegels.

If you have more severe pelvic floor dysfunction that causes pain and disrupts your daily life, talk with your healthcare provider or OB-GYN. If you notice a bulge inside your vagina, see your healthcare provider. You may have pelvic organ prolapse, which is when your muscles stop supporting your nearby organs. Your provider can help you find a physical therapist or specialist focusing on pelvic floor exercises and treatments.

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Sources
Health.com uses only high-quality sources, including peer-reviewed studies, to support the facts within our articles. Read our editorial process to learn more about how we fact-check and keep our content accurate, reliable, and trustworthy.
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