Your vagina is surrounded and supported by muscles. Like any body part, you can trim and tone it if you put some time in and do your Kegels. It’s apart of the body you are not used to working; this will change once you have had a baby. Healthy muscle tone will feel different to slack muscle tone. This will require the Finger Test. Now don’t be coy …
Strong muscles :
· The canal is tight and the tissues offer your finger a degree of resistance from all directions.
When your finger is inserted to its full length, move around a bit, palpitating it against the walls.
▪ The walls should close in around the finger as it is inserted, moved about or withdrawn. This should happen as deep as you can move your finger not just in the first third of the canal.
▪ As you move your finger, the walls of the middle third of the normal vagina feel firm throughout.
▪ You will feel a strong contraction as you tense your muscles around your finger.
Slack Muscles :
· The entrance to the vagina may feel tight but this ends once you get two-thirds up.
Insert your finger:
▪ The canal will feel roomy; the walls will not close in on your finger or will offer little resistance to movements of your finger.
▪ Try and tense your muscles around your finger. If you barely feel it, you have some work to do.
TIP : Vibrating Chinese balls work on your core vaginal muscles as they stimulate muscle contractions. Holding them in is more difficult than it seems. Don’t wear them at work without knickers or you could be playing skittles in the corridor.
Choosing a surgeon
You don't find your gynae in the Yellow Pages. Equally, you would never consider a plastic surgeon without a recommendation from someone you trust. This is part science, part sculputre and results vary widely. Take your time to find the right surgeon. It is expensive and the results will last you a long time, so do it right.
· Ask your friends, ask your GP and ask the surgeon if you can call some recent patients.
· Don't select a surgeon purely because they are less expensive. You get what you pay for.
· Educate yourself. Get online and research all the variations of your op, know what can go wrong, interview a few surgeons on their techniques and grill them on why they do it that way.
· Check out their qualifications with the relevant Plastic and Reconstructive Surgeons Association
· Check there are no malpractice suits against them. Call the Health Professions Council.
· Ask all your questions and raise your fears.
· Make sure that you have been informed of all the costs.
· Ask who the anaesthetist will be and what drugs will be used.
· Be clear what aftercare is required and plan this.
Arteries VS Veins
Arteries carry fresh blood from the heart to every cell in your body, through a system of smaller and smaller vessels. These vessels then become tiny capillaries that pass almost every cell, delivering oxygen and nutrients. This network then collects the by-products of metabolism from these cells and starts to wind its way back to the heart. Capillaries join to form slightly larger vessels (venules, or tiny veins) and these in turn join up to form veins. All veins eventually join into two main veins that feed into the heart, one coming from the legs and pelvis (inferior vena cava) and the other from the abdomen (superior vena cava).
Your body has to work hardest to get the blood back up to your heart from your legs as it is working against gravity. Fortunately, the valves in your veins will only let blood flow upwards, towards your heart. Your leg muscles move the blood back up, not your heart pumping. A valve occurs every five to ten centimetres in the main superficial veins of the legs.
When veins become varicose, the valves often stop working properly; blood can flow the wrong way and cause a head of pressure that makes the veins bulge. Varicose veins are not dangerous. They have nothing to do with thrombosis, heart attacks, strokes or any heart conditions. Having them treated is a cosmetic, not a health decision.
My Story : Magritte
When I met my first husband, he told me one night that I had the most beautiful fanny he had ever seen. It was the first time in my life I had even thought about that part of my body as anything other than functional. We married a year later.
I had my first son in 1994 when I was twenty-four. The birth was a long and tough one and Rex was 3.9 kg. I ended up with a fourth degree episiotomy that cut me from vagina to anus. The stitches and cut hurt like hell for two years, and I battled infection after infection. I just put my head down and got on with my life and the challenges of being a mother. I put myself, my sexuality and ultimately, my marriage on the backburner. I was in pain and felt my fanny was ugly, scarred and damaged.
My relationship took a fatal blow in those years and we ended up getting divorced. I fell pregnant again the next year with Mark’s baby. We had been dating for four months. Kevin was born at 4.1 kg and I had no problems. I knew in my heart it was because my vagina was so loose there was little stretch needed.
This time I worked hard to get it back into shape and went on a physiotherapy programme. I tried vaginal dumbbells, electromagnetic therapy, even vaginal beads, but the muscle was so numb from the scarring that I made no inroads. I felt like my fanny was a great roomy void. Tampons would even slip lower as there was just no tone. I wanted to just ignore that part of my body, and I wanted my husband to ignore it as well. My husband said it made no difference to him, but it made the world of difference to me.
One day I read an article on an airline magazine about vaginal tightening. It was like a ray of light for me. I got online and started researching options. Eventually I contacted a surgeon in Canada who had performed a number of vaginal tightenings. He advised me to have all my children before I considered it. Finally, last year I had my third son Seth.
When he was eight months, we flew to Canada for a “holiday”. I checked in the next day and went under anaesthetic. I had my labia trimmed and my vagina tightened. I stayed the night and checked out the next day with minimal pain and we continued with our holiday. The area was bruised but bearable.
The surgery has made the world of difference to me and my sex life. The scar is barely visible and I feel as tight as an eighteen-year-old. Mark says the difference during sex is huge. Who knows if he is lying because he never really had a problem with our sex life before. The real difference is to my self-confidence. I am only thirty-four, and I have waited ten years to feel okay about my fanny again.