Published: January 27, 2021
Last updated: February 18, 2022
Content Reviewed by AEDIT Medical Advisory Board
When we think of women's health, we mostly focus on visits to the OBGYN and our menstrual cycle. We all know about cotton underwear and probiotics to prevent UTIs, pH levels and pH balance, and how to avoid sexually transmitted diseases. What we don’t talk about is vaginal health and sexual health from a functional and aesthetic perspective. Let’s change that now.
What is the anatomy of the vagina?
The vagina is a flexible, muscular canal running from the cervix (just below the opening of the uterus) to the vulva. The vaginal walls are composed of skin tissue, smooth muscle, and connective tissue.
At the opening of the vagina is the hymen-a thin piece of tissue that can be broken through sex, exercise, or tampon use. The labia majora and minora are the skin folds surrounding the vaginal opening. The clitoris lies towards the front of the body and contains a bundle of highly sensitive nerve endings. The clitoris is covered by the clitoral hood. The muscles and ligaments of the pelvic floor surround the vaginal structures providing structural and functional support. Pubic hair runs from above the pubic bone to the perineum.
During sexual excitement the vaginal walls relax and expand as blood flow to the area increases. The vagina is not especially well innervated and so vaginal stimulation alone is usually not sufficient for orgasm. The “g spot” is believed to exist a few inches above the vaginal opening on the front side of the vagina, and it’s stimulation can sometimes result in orgasm. Stimulation of the clitoris more commonly results in orgasm.
To complete the anatomy of the urogenital triangle, towards the front of the body lies the urethral opening, which is connected to the bladder and carries urine from the body. Behind the vagina is the perineum, or the skin which runs from the vagina to the anus. (1)
What are the main cosmetic concerns related to vaginal health?
Now that we’ve got our anatomy basics, let’s consider some of the specific concerns women may have relating to their vaginal health. These concerns can affect women of any age.
- Vaginal Skin Laxity: As we age, or following pregnancy the vaginal skin can become loose and sagging. This can impact both aesthetic and function.
- Hymen Repair: The hymen can be broken through tampon use, exercise, or sexual intercourse. Decisions concerning hymen repair are deeply personal.
- Labia Shape & Size: The size and shape of the labia majora, and minora are mostly cosmetic. Some women may, however, find some functional discomfort related to overly large labia.
- Sexual Wellness: Sex drive can decrease for a number of reasons, such as age, environmental factors, and stress. Of note, no solutions to increase sex drive are FDA approved.
Who may wish to seek treatment to improve their vaginal health?
Whether your concerns are aesthetic or functional, vaginal appearance and health can be a source of concern for women of all ages. Changes relating to loss of structural integrity from aging and pregnancy, decreases in sex drive, or genetically determined aesthetic concerns may prompt women to consider a vaginal rejuvenation procedure.
How can someone cosmetically enhance their vagina?
Vaginal rejuvenation procedures can address a myriad of concerns relating to both aesthetic and function. Depending on your unique concern, one procedure may be of more benefit than another.
- For Hymen Repair: A Hymenoplasty can restore the hymen.
For a comprehensive look at the treatment options outlined above, check out our full guide to Vaginal Rejuvenation Solutions.
Vaginal health, sexual health, and women’s health are all in the same vein. While your OBGYN will worry about the medical aspects (like yeast infections, bacterial vaginosis, vaginal discharge, and birth control), a plastic surgeon can help to address the sexual and aesthetic concerns you may have. Whether it’s age, pregnancies, genetics, or something else causing your vaginal health and sexual health concern, a vaginal rejuvenation procedure can improve or restore aesthetic and function.
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