- What vaginal tightening is
- What the benefits of vaginal tightening are
- Vaginal tightening treatment options
- What treatments work
- How much it costs
- How long the results last
- Potential side effects
- Vaginal tightening on the NHS
What is vaginal tightening?
Vaginal tightening refers to any method used to tighten the vagina, which can lose muscle tone and become lax after childbirth or the menopause or due to age.
Most women find they have no issues with the size, lubrication or elasticity of their vagina post-childbirth or as they get older. But for others, problems such as sexual dysfunction, vaginal atrophy, vaginal laxity, painful intercourse and stress incontinence can have a negative impact on their quality of life.
To rectify this, there are a number of vaginal rejuvenation treatments available, all of which claim to tighten the vagina as part of the rejuvenation. These treatments range from creams and pills, to laser or radiofrequency treatment, or even surgery.
However, not all of them deliver the benefits they claim to, so we’ve taken a closer look at the options available and the benefits and drawbacks of each treatment.
What are the benefits of vaginal tightening?
Vaginal rejuvenation has many benefits, one of which is tightening the vagina.
It can also help:
- improve symptoms of vaginal atrophy (when the vaginal walls become thinner, drier and inflamed)
- reduce vaginal dryness
- treat stress urinary incontinence (SUI)
- improve lubrication
- reduce the number of recurrent infections such as bacterial vaginosis (BV)
- improve vaginal laxity
- increase sexual pleasure
Women can benefit from vaginal rejuvenation at different stages of their lives. For some women, having a baby can mean their vagina is not as tight as it was pre-birth. Others may find they experience stress incontinence issues due to a weak pelvic floor.
You can read more about the causes and symptoms of weak pelvic floor muscles and what you can do about them here.
Women who are going through the menopause may experience genitourinary syndrome of menopause, which can have a negative impact on their quality of life. Symptoms of genitourinary syndrome of menopause include:
- vaginal dryness or irritation
- pain with intercourse
- urinary problems
Certain vaginal tightening techniques, such as laser treatment, can actually increase the vagina’s natural lubrication, making intercourse more pleasurable.
How to tighten the vagina: treatment options
Treatment options for vaginal tightening include the following:
- Non-invasive creams—however, these are unregulated and haven’t undergone medical trials
- Non-invasive laser treatment
- Surgery—this can take up to six weeks to fully recover from
The options for vaginal tightening are listed below:
Vaginal laser treatments, such as FemiLift, are non-surgical procedures that use energy, delivered via a wand or probe, that’s inserted into the vagina to gently heat the vaginal tissue.
Heating the vaginal tissue creates painless micro-tears in the vaginal walls. These stimulate the body to produce more collagen and elastin fibres, which improve lubrication and restore the strength and elasticity of the vaginal walls.
Although laser rejuvenation has been proven to work, it’s important to note that it doesn’t actually tighten the muscles of the vagina. Instead, laser treatment works by improving the lubrication, strength and elasticity of the vaginal walls, which can make the vagina feel tighter.
We have an entire section of our website dedicated to everything you need to know about FemiLift treatment and similar laser technology such as yag laser energy and radiofrequency energy.
Surgery (known as a vaginoplasty procedure) is sometimes used to repair trauma to the vagina as a result of childbirth—for example, to repair a badly torn perineal muscle.
However, an elective vaginoplasty (also known as a ‘designer vagina’, or vaginal tightening or rejuvenation surgery) is an option for some women who want to narrow, and therefore tighten, their vaginal canal to restore the vagina’s tightness and sensation.
There’s an important distinction between vaginoplasty and labiaplasty—often the terms are used interchangeably but labiaplasty is surgery to reduce the size of the labia and doesn’t affect the vagina. A vaginoplasty procedure is major surgery, performed under general anaesthetic.
The risks of vaginal tightening surgery
Vaginoplasty can take up to six weeks to recover from and has associated risks such as:
- loss of sensation
- skin necrosis (skin death)
The results of vaginal tightening surgery
Vaginoplasty results in a tighter vaginal canal, which can help eliminate problems such as stress incontinence and increase sexual satisfaction.
Read more about vaginal tightening surgery and why women choose to have it here.
Creams, gels and pills
Vaginal tightening gels, creams and pills focus solely on tightening the vaginal walls, rather than relieving the symptoms of associated issues such as stress urinary incontinence.
Vaginal tightening creams and pills are usually sold via the internet and haven’t been approved by any medical body. Medicine that has been approved and is proven to work has gone through rigorous testing and is regulated, meaning it can only be sold through a pharmacy or via prescription.
As well as potentially wasting money on a product that’s highly unlikely to work, applying an unregulated tightening gel or cream to your vagina could cause you to suffer an infection or an allergic reaction to the ingredients.
Read more about the risks associated with using vaginal tightening creams, gels or pills here.
Approach any natural or home remedies for tightening the vaginal walls with caution. Remedies such as putting cider vinegar, witch hazel or turmeric in or around the vagina aren’t proven treatments for vaginal tightening. In fact, they could cause further problems, such as upsetting the delicate balance of bacteria in the vagina.
You can find out more about the risks associated with using natural or home remedies for vaginal tightening here.
Vaginal tightening exercise is a bit of a misnomer as you can’t actually tighten your vagina canal through physical activity.
Instead, these exercises tighten the pelvic floor muscles—a sling-shaped muscle that supports the pelvic organs, including the vagina. Having strong pelvic floor muscles can help prevent problems such as stress urinary incontinence and can even improve sensitivity during sexual intercourse. Medical practitioners recommend women do regular sets of kegel exercises during pregnancy and after childbirth to help tighten their pelvic floor muscles. However, they can be done during any stage of life to tone the pelvic floor muscles.
If you have laser treatment to tighten your vagina, your practitioner will advise you to do Kegel exercises to help maintain the results.
We’ve put together an in-depth guide on how to improve the strength of your pelvic floor with exercises here.
What’s the best option?
This will depend on your needs. However, it’s wise to avoid treatments such as home remedies or creams and gels, as they’re extremely unlikely to have any benefits and could even cause you to suffer irritation, an infection or an allergic reaction.
Surgery is only really required for extreme cases where the vagina has been damaged—for example, due to complications in childbirth.
For most women looking for vaginal rejuvenation, laser treatment, exercise or both are the best options.
Does vaginal tightening work?
It depends on the treatment. Laser vaginal rejuvenation, such as FemiLift, has been proven to work for many women. Indeed, studies and reports have shown that it’s effective at tightening the vaginal tissue and enhancing natural lubrication and pleasure during sexual intercourse.
We’ve had high levels of patient satisfaction from women who’ve had FemiLift treatment at our clinic. You can read the reviews at the bottom of the FemiLift treatment page.
Treatments such as tightening gels, creams, pills and natural remedies aren’t regulated or tested and haven’t been proven to work. It’s highly unlikely that trying these will have any positive results.
Exercise can help improve the tone of the pelvic floor muscles but will have no effect on the muscles in the vaginal wall.
The only treatment that will have drastic, long-term results is a vaginoplasty procedure. However, this is very expensive, carries a high risk compared to laser treatment, and can take up to six weeks to recover from.
How much does vaginal tightening cost?
|Vaginal tightening treatment||Cost (all cost are approx.)|
|Laser||£1,000–£1,500 per treatment|
|Creams/gels||£10–£20 per tube|
|Home remedies||Free (assuming you have the ingredients in your home already)|
Is vaginal tightening treatment permanent?
The vagina is made up of muscles and, just like with muscles in other areas of the body, these can become loose and untoned with age and without exercise. This means that the results of any vaginal tightening treatment will inevitably wear off.
Even the results of a vaginoplasty, although long-term, aren’t permanent as the natural aging process of the vagina muscles will eventually lead to atrophy. Again, vaginal surgery is a major medical procedure that has associated risks—you must consider these in depth before deciding to go ahead with the treatment.
Vagina rejuvenation with lasers is semi-permanent—you’ll just need a top-up treatment every 12 to 18 months or so to maintain the results.
What are the side effects of vaginal tightening?
The side effects of vaginal tightening vary depending on what treatment you choose. Exercise is probably the only treatment where there are no side effects. At the other end of the scale is surgery, where potential side effects can include nerve damage, infection or damage to the rectum or bladder.
Pills, creams and gels also have potential side effects and can be especially risky as they’re unregulated and can contain ingredients that cause irritation or an allergic reaction.
Can you get it on the NHS?
It’s highly unlikely that you’ll be able to have vaginal tightening treatment on the NHS, unless you have a serious medical condition that means your vagina needs to be reconstructed. For example, a patient may need pelvic floor reconstruction surgery if their pelvic floor was severely damaged during childbirth.
You may be able to have vaginal tightening surgery if you had complications during childbirth that caused your vagina to stretch or scar excessively.
If you’re concerned about any aspect of your sexual health, always speak to your GP first. To find out more about vaginal tightening services from Health & Aesthetics, visit the FemiLift section of our advice centre, read our FemiLift treatment page or contact us today on 01252 905 327.