Dear Doc | Does vagina size matter?
Q I always knew men were hard to please, but there is something that I really want to know for myself so I can tell them when they are talking foolishness.
I have had men complain that I am too tight, and use that as a reason to not use condoms. I thought being ‘tight’ would be a good thing, so I want to know, when it comes to sex, does vagina size matter? Because no matter what I do, sex still feels uncomfortable for me.
A The age-old question of ‘does size matter’ is usually directed at men, but it is also a concern for some women as well.
Women often worry about the size of their vagina and how it affects sexual pleasure, particularly after having a baby. Not a lot of research has been done in this area and because there are so many variables at play in women’s sexuality, it is difficult to tell if vagina size and sexual pleasure are linked.
The vagina is a very elastic organ, and is accommodating and changeable. It is small enough to hold a tampon in place, and can expand enough to pass a child through. This is because the walls of the vagina fold together and collapse when unused, then expand when necessary.
The average measurements of a vagina is 2.75 inches to 3.25 inches in length when unstimulated, and when aroused, it increases to 4.25 inches to 4.75 inches.
But does vaginal length relate to sexual satisfaction? No one seems to know for sure.
The main issue women have with discomfort during sex typically occurs if the vagina is too short or too tight, and this tightness is regarding the vaginal opening.
When you are sexually aroused, the upper portion of the vagina lengthens, therefore pushing your cervix and uterus more inside the body. This is to prevent the penis from hitting the cervix during penetration and causing discomfort. That being said, stimulating the cervix may sometimes be pleasurable.
The vagina also releases natural lubrication so that penetration is less painful and done with ease. If penetration begins too soon and you are not sufficiently lubricated, you may experience pain. These natural processes, however, do not always mean sex is comfortable.
Approximately 30 per cent of women experience pain during vaginal intercourse.
If you are concerned that your vagina may be too small or tight, and is therefore causing intercourse to be uncomfortable or painful, there are several conditions that can affect how tight a vagina is and so affect sexual comfort. Most of these problems are minor and easily treated.
Insufficient arousal or lubrication
Sexual arousal provides the body with natural lubrication. Adequate foreplay will help ensure you have enough natural lubrication. If that is still not enough, and penetration still feels painful and is difficult even after foreplay, you can use a store-bought, water-based lubricant to help.Infection
Infections, including sexually transmitted infections, do not affect the tightness of your vagina, but they can make sex more painful.
Injury or trauma
An injury to your pelvis or your genitals may make sex painful. Wait until you have fully healed before engaging in sexual activity, especially after pregnancy and childbirth.
Psychological trauma also plays a role in painful intercourse. If you have ever been sexually assaulted, any sexual encounter may be difficult without having received adequate therapy after the incident.
Some women are born with hymens that are thick and inflexible. During sex, a penis pushing against the hymen may feel painful. Even after the hymen tissue is torn, it may be painful when hit during sex. Having a retroverted uterus can also result in painful intercourse with some sexual positions.
Vaginismus is a condition that causes involuntary contractions of your pelvic floor muscles. Before penetration, the condition causes the pelvic floor muscles to tighten so much that a penis cannot enter. This condition may be caused by anxiety or fear. Some people with this condition also have difficulty using tampons or having a pelvic exam.
Treatment involves a combination of therapies. In addition to sex therapy or talk therapy, your doctor will work with you to use vaginal dilators or trainers. These cone-shaped devices help you gain control of your pelvic floor and learn to release the involuntary muscular reaction you experience before penetration.
Each vagina is different, therefore you cannot rely on someone else’s experience or opinion to determine if your vagina is normal or not. You know your body best, so if something does not feel right during sex, stop. Find a solution that works for you, from the above listed possibilities, and try again.
If the pain or tightness is persistent, make an appointment to see your doctor.
- Send your medical questions to: email@example.com.