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What Happens to the Vagina When A Person Stops Having Intercourse

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A quick (or long) romp in the bedroom has tons of health benefits. From boosting your immune system and libido to reducing stress and burning calories, sex is good for you in so many ways. But not all of us are getting it on regularly. In fact, some of us may not be getting it on at all.

It’s completely normal to go through sexless periods in life. Maybe other priorities have gotten in the way. Maybe you’re between relationships and don’t factor sex into your daily equation. Or maybe you’re simply just not in the mood. Whatever the reason, going through a dry spell is nothing to be scared or ashamed of. Still wondering how it may affect you down there? Here are five things that happen to the vagina when you stop having sex.

If you’re premenopausal, you may temporarily lose elasticity
Your vagina is elastic, meaning it stretches to accommodate things going in (like your partner) and things coming out (like a baby). Women who have yet to reach menopause may temporarily experience a slightly tighter vagina after not having sex for a while. Because they are premenopausal, their body still produces a good amount of estrogen, which helps maintain elasticity and lubrication in the vagina. Therefore, even long periods of abstinence won’t permanently affect their elasticity.

Postmenopausal women, on the other hand, run the risk of losing their elasticity permanently if they stop having sex due to their lack of estrogen. Personal lubricants are a good way to combat vaginal tightness and dryness that may occur after menopause.

You won’t grow a new hymen
The hymen is a thin membrane that surrounds the opening of the vagina. It can be broken the first time a woman has intercourse or uses a tampon, and it can also wear away naturally through exercise.

There is a myth that abstaining from sex will cause your hymen to grow back. I hate to break it to you, but that isn’t the case. You won’t grow a new hymen. Your vagina won’t close up. But women who are late into menopause may experience a slight shrinking of their vaginal opening.

You won’t “dry up” down there
Another common misconception about sex is that your vagina will dry up from no activity. This also isn’t true. Your vagina well keep the same level of lubrication unless you experience any hormonal changes like postmenopausal women, whose drop in estrogen causes them to experience vaginal dryness. Vaginal dryness can also occur if you stop taking birth control, which can sometimes suppress natural lubricants.

Your sex drive won’t change
Abstaining from sex after being sexually active is unlikely to have an impact on your sex drive. You’ll experience the same sexual desire as when you had a partner. However, your expectations for sex may change, and you could enjoy it more or less after your period of abstinence.

You’re less likely to develop a UTI
Having sex is a common cause of urinary tract infections (UTI). A UTI occurs when bacteria gets into your urine and travels up to your bladder. During sex, it’s easy for bacteria from the bowel or vaginal cavity to be pushed further into the urethra. So abstaining from sex can lower your risk of UTI. But this doesn’t mean you’re completely immune. UTIs can also be caused by constipation, menopause, and holding in your urine.

It’s pretty safe to say that not having sex isn’t harmful for your vagina, and in some cases, is actually helpful (thank you lowered risk of UTI). But whether you’re doing it or not, it’s still important to know what is and isn’t healthy for your vagina. And if you ever feel something isn’t right down there, head to your gynecologist!

Sources:
https://www.prevention.com/sex/g26133381/what-happens-vagina-when-stop-having-sex/
https://www.self.com/story/what-happens-to-your-vagina-when-you-stop-having-sex
https://www.webmd.com/sex/stop-having-sex-health#1

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