| Tara Langdale
The human body is a complex thing. This does mean that there is room for dysfunction to develop, sometimes in quite unpredictable ways. We may be so used to everything running smoothly that we end up quite confused and bewildered when part of our body suddenly just doesn’t feel right anymore. We may not be totally sure if the change is normal, or something to worry about. One such problem is the feeling of vaginal tightness. If this is a new problem (or an older one that feels uncomfortable) you might be wondering, is it normal to be tight down there?
The reality is that all our bodies are different and may respond in various ways to the kind of changes that have a knock-on effect. For some this actually is a normal process and nothing to worry about, while for others it can indicate a problem. However, discomfort is a tell tale sign that something isn’t right.
In this article we will take a look at when it is normal to be tight down there, and when it’s something you may need to seek treatment for.
When it is normal to be tight down there
Is vaginal tightness normal? Well, some women do naturally feel tight down there, but usually this is something you’ll be aware of from a young age. If that’s the case and it hasn’t caused you any problems, you need not worry about having a tight vagina. If you have never had sexual intercourse you’re likely to feel more tight; likewise, if you’ve never had any children, your vagina may feel tighter than that of a woman who has given birth to a couple of kids. Having said that, eventually the vagina generally returns to the same shape and size (more or less).
It’s important to note that when you’re not sexually aroused, your vagina will be more constricted than when you are. When not aroused, your vagina will be somewhere between three and four inches in length, but once you are ready to have sex, it will start to expand, becoming longer and wider. This (combined with the natural lubricant you produce in this state) should enable you to have sex without discomfort.
You should still be able to insert tampons without too much difficulty. Of course they can feel dry, and you may experience a little resistance if your vagina is on the tight side, which is normal. However, if you are struggling to do so without pain it could indicate a problem.
When vaginal tightness is a problem
It is certainly not always normal to be tight down there. If you are someone who regularly struggles to insert a tampon, finds sex or gynecological examinations painful or impossible, or feels anxiety about any of the above, it could be that your vagina really is too tight – or that it is constricting due to your anxiety. In this instance, it is not normal and you may need to seek help. One of the main reasons for vaginal tightness is a condition called vaginismus.
Women with vaginismus experience tension in the vaginal muscles in response to the prospect of or attempt at penetration. They find that their vagina will instantly contract and they have little to no control over it; then any attempt at penetration will lead to discomfort, pain or even panic. This genito–pelvic pain and penetration disorder is surprisingly common, affecting up to one in two women according to statistics – and that is only based on the figures actually reported. So you won’t be the first to wonder if it is normal to be tight down there!
Vaginismus causes range from past sexual or medical trauma to bodily insecurity, relationship issues, fear of intimacy and sometimes even more complex psychological issues. It is not always easy to diagnose vaginismus, but if you recognize the symptoms we mentioned, you should seek the help of a professional.
Rest assured that there are many vaginismus treatments available to you, including vaginal dilators, pelvic floor physical therapy and psychological treatment (counseling). Even if you feel tight down there now, it doesn’t have to be a permanent issue if you make an effort to find the right treatment.