Are your muscles saggy, or toned? That’s a question you can easily answer about your arms, your abs, or your thighs. But what about your vagina? Did you know you even have muscles there? Or that they can be just as saggy — or just as fit — as any other muscle in your body?
What Are the Vagina Muscles?
The muscles around your vagina are part of the pelvic floor. The pelvic floor is a bowl of muscle between your legs. It’s a hammock of muscle and connective tissue that does many different jobs in your body, including holding your insides where they belong (i.e., inside you). The pelvic floor muscles surround the vagina, giving the vagina its tone, structure, and firmness.
What Do the Pelvic Floor Muscles Do?
The pelvic floor is something most women don’t think about, or even know about, until something goes wrong. When it’s not working right, the pelvic floor can cause big trouble, because the jobs it does in your body are so important.
Here’s some of what the pelvic floor does for you, every day:
The pelvic floor controls your bladder and bowel release. These muscles decide when you pee and poo — and this one is really important — when you don’t pee and poo.
The pelvic floor stabilizes the base of your spine. Care for a little back pain, anyone? No? I didn’t think so. The very end of your spine, the sacrum and tailbone, are connected to your pelvic floor. Pelvic floor problems can affect the tailbone and sacrum, and move like dominoes up the bones of your spine.
The pelvic floor holds your organs in place. Who knew this was such an important job? Don’t organs just stay where they’re supposed to be? Not always. Your bladder, uterus and rectum (your pelvic organs) sit inside the pelvic floor “bowl.” They’re supported from the top and sides by ligaments that help hold them up, and they’re supported from behind and below by the pelvic floor. For a surprising number of women, those pelvic organs don’t stay in place… more on that in a moment.
The pelvic floor makes sex awesome. “Awesome” is a highly technical term used to describe great sex. You already know that the vagina gets its structure from the pelvic floor. You may not know that there are pelvic floor muscles specifically attached to the clitoris (and that your clitoris can actually move back and forth when you learn to control these muscles). A healthy pelvic floor helps with good circulation to your sex organs, which is essential for arousal, lubrication, and orgasm. And one of the major sensations you feel during orgasm is contractions of the pelvic floor.
What Happens When the Vagina Muscles Aren’t Working Right?
If your pelvic floor isn’t working right, here’s some of what can happen:
- You can’t control your pee and/or poo (a.k.a. you need pads or diapers).
- Your back hurts.
- Your pelvic organs fall out of place into your vagina (you have pelvic organ prolapse).
- You have mediocre sex. (Okay, I realize there could be a lot of other reasons for mediocre sex, but that’s a whole different discussion.)
Hear these words, my friends: If the pelvic floor ain’t happy, ain’t nobody happy.
How Can I Tell if My Vagina Muscles Are Strong?
Pelvic floor problems can happen because your pelvic floor is too tight, or too lax. Either way, the muscles aren’t strong and aren’t working properly.
If everything seems to be working right “down there,” and you don’t have any of the problems I listed above, your pelvic floor is probably just fine.
But if you do have one or more of those problems, maybe your pelvic floor ain’t happy.
How Can I Make My Vagina Muscles Stronger?
That’s a really important question, but strength is only part of the equation. The happiest pelvic floor muscles are not just strong, but have the right tone — not too tense and not too slack. Having great control of those muscles is the other piece of the puzzle.
How do you get all that? Kegel exercises — but not just any kegel exercises. Most women are doing kegels completely wrong, even if they learned how from a doctor, midwife, or childbirth teacher. Real kegels that really work are the only kegels that can make your pelvic floor happy, and make you happy too. Check out my webinar for your first easy step toward doing kegels right!