Vaginal tightening creams and gels are marketed to women who may have noticed an increase in vaginal laxity due to age or after having children.
Below we look into this method of vaginal tightening and why we advise women to avoid it.
What are vaginal tightening creams and gels?
Vaginal tightening creams claim to restore suppleness and elasticity to the vagina, so your vagina feels rejuvenated.
You apply the cream or gel to the inside of the vagina and this is meant to make your vagina tighter. Some creams claim this happens instantly. Any changes you experience from using the tightening gel or cream won’t be permanent.
These creams and gels are sold online and usually cost a lot of money.
What are vaginal tightening pills?
Companies that manufacture vaginal tightening pills claim that taking them regularly will permanently tighten the vagina. However, there have been no clinical trials to prove that these pills work. In fact, one professor of obstetrics and gynaecology said, “There is nothing you can take orally for your vagina that’s going to affect the ‘tightness’…That’s ludicrous”1.
How do vaginal tightening creams and gels claim to work?
Some vaginal tightening gels, such as V Tight Gel, contain ingredients that allegedly create an astringent effect on the vagina, meaning they tighten up the tissue of the vaginal wall and vulva.
In most cases, these creams simply dry out the mucus on the vaginal walls, which can increase friction and make your vagina feel temporarily tighter; however, it’s more likely to make intercourse feel painful.
Do vaginal tightening creams and gels actually work?
For a product to become a medicine and be prescribed by a doctor, it needs to undergo rigorous tests to prove it works and is safe to use. There are no vaginal tightening creams available on prescription and none have gone through clinical trials to prove they are safe or effective.
Although some women may feel their vagina is tighter after applying these creams, this is likely to be a placebo effect, or they may feel more friction as the ingredients in the cream can actually dry out the mucus on the vaginal walls.
One of the ingredients found in many of these creams and gels is manjakani—also known as oak gall (this is a key ingredient in V Tight Gel)—which is claimed to tighten and dry the vagina2.
Drying out the vagina is not a good thing. Decreased lubrication can lead to painful sexual intercourse and even tissue damage, which can increase the risk of infection and inflammation.
Speaking in an interview with Health.com, Mary Jane Minkin, clinical professor of obstetrics, gynaecology, and reproductive sciences at Yale University School of Medicine, said: “I know of absolutely no cream that would tighten your vagina.”3
So there you go!
What are the side effects of vaginal tightening creams and gels?
In many cases women will use these creams and not notice any positive or negative effects. For some women, though, using vaginal tightening creams could cause irritation, infection or an allergic reaction to the ingredients.
Creams and gels that work as an astringent dry out the vagina and can increase the risk of abrasions to the vaginal tissue. These abrasions can make sexual intercourse more painful, increase the risk of contracting STIs and raise the risk of infection.
Some brands of tightening gel contain glycerine, an ingredient also found in some lubricants. Glycerine is derived from sugar and if you apply products containing glycerine to your vagina it can ferment in the body, potentially causing side effects such as yeast or bacterial infections.
Should you need more evidence that vaginal tightening gels and creams are a bad idea, search the reviews on Amazon. Just a quick search reveals hundreds of one-star reviews, which range from women stating the products do nothing, to women who’ve experienced painful spotting, yeast infections, itchiness and irritation as a result of using the products.
Are there natural alternatives to vaginal tightening creams and gels?
There are natural alternatives, but none of these are proven to be safe or effective! You can read more about why trying vaginal tightening home remedies are not a good idea here. Natural alternatives include applying herbs, such as witch hazel, or chemicals like potassium alum to the vagina or pelvic area, but we strongly advise women not to try these.
If you’re looking for a safe, doctor-led way to rejuvenate your vagina then you could consider the Femilift vaginal tightening treatment. This non-surgical treatment can improve symptoms of vaginal dryness and laxity and can treat conditions such as stress urinary incontinence.
You can find out more about the
benefits and cost of FemiLift here.
If you’re concerned that your pelvic floor muscle is weak, you can find out more about
how to tighten your pelvic floor with exercises here
or read more about the
symptoms and causes of a weak pelvic floor muscle here.