1. Drink a lot of water
Water’s good for everything, from making your internal organs run better to making your skin look plumper and brighter. Those benefits apply to your vaginal skin, too. Hydrating your body also keeps your store of natural vaginal lubricants full. Get your 9 cups of water a day!glass of fresh water with a sprig of mint beside it
2. No douching
Nobody douches anymore, and you shouldn’t either. Douching was a phase several decades ago, but the American College of Obsetricians and Gynecologists (ACOG) doesn’t recommend that women do it. It can interfere with pH levels, reducing the natural acidity inside your vaginal canal and making bacterial infections more likely. When showering, use a little non-irritating soap on the outside of your vulva and labia, but there’s no need to get inside your vagina itself.
You probably knew that Kegels would be on this list! Kegel exercises, where you squeeze and/or hold your pelvic floor muscles to strength them, are easy to do almost anywhere you are and do wonders to tighten and tone. In addition to getting you a vagina like a vice, Kegels can help prevent or correct urinary or fecal incontinence.
To do Kegels, squeeze the same muscles you’d activate to stop your urine mid-stream (but don’t actually do them while you’re peeing; do them with an empty bladder!). You can do sets of isometric holds, where you squeeze for a few seconds and then relax, or go for quicker, stronger pulses. Work on isolating your pelvic floor muscles when you do Kegels; try not to squeeze anything else, like your anal or abdominal muscles. It helps if you give yourself a trigger that you encounter often during your day, and tell yourself you’ll do your Kegels whenever that trigger happens (for example, when you check Facebook or your texts).
4. Try Ben Wa balls
If you’re already crushing the Kegels, you can turn up the intensity with Ben Wa balls, sometimes called Kegel balls or vagina weights. These small balls, usually made of metal or glass, are inserted into your vagina, where they require muscle clenching to keep them in place and move them around. They can also give you something to track when you’re doing Kegels, because you’ll feel them move. The bigger the balls are, the easier they are to use and control. If you’re a pro, go for a smaller size. You may also want a pair with a string attached, which helps you retrieve the balls when you’re finished.
The woman who supposedly has the world’s strongest vagina trains with an item similar to Ben Wa balls. Note that that link isn’t totally safe for work!
5. Get more control during sex
Taking a more active role during sex works your vaginal muscles more effectively. If you’re on top or otherwise driving the motion of sex, chances are you’re getting a good internal workout from it. Tap into that mind-body connection during sex: tell yourself to squeeze your pelvic floor muscles, and it’ll happen more often and more intensely.
6. Don’t cycle through weight changes
Gaining and losing a lot of weight can have long-lasting effects on your skin, namely sagging where fullness used to be. These effects can happen in your genitals, too. The best way to keep your vaginal skin looking young is to avoid gaining and losing a large amount of weight (other than pregnancy weight, which is distributed differently).
7. Have safe sex
Preventing sexually transmitted diseases is one of the best, most effective ways of keeping your lady bits youthful. Condoms protect against STDs like HIV, genital herpes, gonorrhea, chlamydia, and genital warts, all of which can wreak havoc on your vagina’s appearance (among other, more serious health effects). Remember that hormonal birth control only helps with preventing pregnancies, not infections.
8. Get a haircut
As you age, your pubic hair might go gray and get thinner. If you’re not happy with the changes, you have three options:
Shave it all off. Many women say they experience increased sensations without hair, and you might like the way it looks!
Dye it. Note that you should see a qualified beautician to take care of this for you; dying your pubic hair yourself is risky because your vulva is highly sensitive and dyes can be harsh.
9. Have orgasms
Whether on your own, during sex, or both, keep having those orgasms. The more you use your genitals, the more rejuvenating blood pumps through them. “Use it or lose it” applies to your vagina, so don’t be shy about getting yourself off as much as you want!
10. See your gynecologist regularly
You should start seeing a gynecologist either when you turn 21 or within 3 years of your first sexual activity, and once a year after that. Prevention and early detection are incredibly important when it comes to infections, diseases, or just basic hygiene.