Sex After 40: How Aging Affects Your Vagina

Just like every other part of the body, the vagina changes with age. Dr. Oz reveals what every woman over 40 needs to know about her vagina so she can have great sex in midlife and beyond.

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How well do you know your vagina?  A study by the Association of Reproductive Health Professionals showed that more than half of women lack basic knowledge when it comes to understanding their genitalia. Misconceptions can prevent you from having a healthy, satisfying sex life, especially after you hit 40, so it’s important to know exactly what’s going on down there.

Just like every other part of the body, the vagina changes with age. Issues such as low libido, vaginal dryness and chronic pain can arise. But don’t be alarmed. All of these problems are common and can be solved. 

Based on information gathered from leading gynecologists, Dr. Oz discloses what you need to know about your vagina after age 40 so you can maintain a happy, healthy sex life.

Thinning of the Vaginal Walls

In your 20s and 30s, the vaginal walls are bathed in hormones making them strong and robust. But as you enter your 40s, hormone levels, namely estrogen, gradually start to decline. This causes the walls, which are comprised of mucous membranes (vaginal mucosa) to become less resilient and more susceptible to trauma. Inflammation or tears are more likely to occur which can cause pain during sex.

To check for thinning vaginal walls, take a handheld mirror and observe the color inside the opening of your vagina. Deep pink signifies healthy vaginal tissue, whereas, pale or very light coloring can mean fragile vaginal mucosa. If you think you have a problem, see your gynecologist who will examine the entire inside of the vagina with a speculum. Remember, even if you’re not exhibiting symptoms you still need to your gynecologist once a year for routine checkups.