I am a happily married woman with three children and a wonderful husband. After having three kids, though, I don't feel like my vagina is as tight as it once was and have lately started worrying that I might not be as pleasing to my husband as before. I've seen ads for vaginal tightening creams and was wondering what is in them and if they in fact work. Can you help me out with this?
-- Wondering Wife
I think I can! Although the vagina can indeed lose some elasticity from again and loss of hormones, and become somewhat stretched by childbirth, it is probably not as bad as you think it is. Unless your husband has told you that there's a problem, you're almost certainly well within the normal range of tightness.
About the tightening creams, they contain one of three things:
1. Nothing. Some creams are a mixture of herbs, scents and gels, but don't actually have any active ingredients at all.
2. Benzocaine. This serves to numb the woman. With decreased sensation, she is less likely to lubricate and her vagina will feel subjectively tighter. This is not a good option.
3. Alum. These often come in douche form and contain a chemical that tightens and contracts the walls of the vagina. Although the FDA has approved alum use for this purpose, I don't recommend it. It can be irritating, cause yeast infections and is usually unnecessary anyway.
What I would suggest is performing Kegel exercises. Whether you're experiencing loss of elasticity or not, these exercises can be a great way to get in touch with your own body, strengthen some important muscles -- and might even help you become more orgasmic! It's a much better option than creams, believe me!