29.09.2020

Gynecologists answer if sex can stretch out your vagina?

The flexibility of the vagina is impressive – it can stretch to accommodate a penis as well as rather large babies.

But can sex have an effect? It’s a question that’s been debated repeatedly over the years. And if so, is the effect permanent?

Now gynecologists have set the record straight: and the answer is yes and no.

‘The vagina is basically a muscular rubber band that stretches during sex and returns to its original shape and size,’ Dr Michelle Metz told Women’s Health.

An exception is however, the very first time you have sex as this will cause a change in the size of the vagina.

The hymen – a membrane that surrounds or partially covers the external vaginal opening – will break or tear which can sometimes lead to mild bleeding. And ‘the vaginal opening increases in size,’ explained Dr Metz.

The vaginal wall can also stretch if you have sex with men with different-sized penises, according to the New York-based board-certified obstetrician and gynecologist.

The vaginal wall can also stretch if you have sex with men with different-sized penises partners – but this is not permanent say experts (stock image)

VAGINAS AND STRETCHING: THE FACTS

The vagina does stretch during sex.

Intercourse with a larger penis will stretch it further.

But it returns to its original shape and size after intimacy is over.

The very first time you have sex can cause a permanent change in the size of the vagina.

Width of vaginas can vary from woman to woman and that is completely normal.

The average diameter is between 2 and 3.5cm.

Childbirth can permanently change the shape of the vagina.

Experts say women should not get anxious about the issue.

You can do pelvic floor muscle exercises to strengthen the muscles in your vaginal wall to improve sexual function.

However, this isn’t permanent – the vagina generally bounces back into shape after intimacy is over.

‘It’s pretty impossible for sex alone to permanently stretch out the vagina,’ said Dr Metz.

Yet while your vagina may not expand forever, you may experience some soreness or small tears like paper cuts down there from intercourse.

‘That’s a sign that the vaginal skin stretched a bit too much,’ she explained.

Do ‘wide-set’ vaginas exist? 

Referring to the line ‘wide-set vagina’ from the 2004 comedy Mean Girls, women’s health expert Dr Lauren Streicher explains that it’s not an actual medical term.

‘No gynaecologist has ever used this word,’ said the Chicago-based associate professor of clinical obstetrics and gynaecology.

However, she said that the width of vaginas can vary from woman to woman and that is completely normal and nothing to worry about.
The 2004 comedy film Mean Girls, starring Lindsay Lohan, referred to ‘wide-set vagina’

VAGINA SIZE AND CHILDBIRTH 

Your vagina might look wider than it did before, according to Dr Suzy Elneil, consultant in urogynaecology at University College Hospital, London.

‘The vagina can feel looser, softer and more ‘open’,” she said. It may also look and feel bruised or swollen. This is normal, and the swelling and openness should start to reduce a few days after your baby is born.

Your vagina will probably not return completely to its pre-birth shape, but this shouldn’t be a problem. If you’re worried, talk to your health visitor or GP.

‘Body parts are different sizes in different people,’ she told Women’s Health.

‘Someone who has had vaginal births before is going to be different from an 18-year-old virgin.’

According to women’s health expert Dr Jennifer Wider, the average diameter of the vagina is between 2 and 3.5cm.

She urged women not to get anxious about the issue.

‘While most women worry more about the appearance of their labia, some worry that they are too loose,’ she said.

You can do pelvic floor muscle exercises to strengthen the muscles in your vaginal wall.

These are carried out to improve bladder control issues and improve sexual function.

YOUR VAGINA SHOULD SMELL AND IF YOUR MAN DOESN’T LIKE IT DUMP HIM SAYS DOCTOR

She’s had a strong opinion on the recent trends for women cleaning their vaginas with cucumbers and Vicks’ Vaporub.

Now Dr Jen Gunter, who is also a prominent critic of Gwyneth Paltrow’s controversial Goop website, has hit out at men who complain about the natural smell of their partner’s genitals which she describes as a ‘form of abuse’.

Writing in her latest blog newsletter, the Canadian gynecologist revealed she once dumped a boyfriend for complaining about the smell of her genitals.

Dr Gunter has urged women not to feel ashamed and feel they have to resort to buying harmful products that create artificial odours.

She says they upset the vagina’s natural pH balance and leave you at a greater risk of infections like gonorrhoea and even HIV.

Dr Gunter urged women to not fall into the same trap.

She said: ‘I realize this may border on TMI [too much information] , but honestly if it happened to me I bet it has happened to other women.

‘The continued proliferation of the what will they insert next, the products on drug store shelves, and the interest in these posts tells me that I’m probably right.

‘If you think you have a medical condition, see a doctor. If your partner insinuates that an artificial smell is preferable to the smell of a normal vagina they are the one who has an issue.

‘Telling women how they can be better is a classic way of tapping into body image issues and honestly in my personal opinion it is a form of abuse.’

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