It's not just your face that can give your age away, your vagina is getting older too. But a healthy vagina will continue to change as we go through life — this is totally normal. Key life transitions such as pregnancy and menopause will have an effect on your genitals, just as they do on the rest of your body. Read on to discover how a normal vagina changes with age…. If you are on the pill, or have taken it previously, your vagina may become drier in your thirties — experts believe that because the pill stops ovulation, you might not produce as much natural lubrication at this time of the month. The uterus swells to watermelon proportions during pregnancy — some women even get varicose veins on their genitals thanks to this increase in weight. Hormones produced when you are expecting can also change the colour of your vulva, making it darker.
T owards the end of last year, I published an essay about my vulva — in a book, and then in the Guardian. I felt a deep sense of shame about my body, which over time became crippling. In a book and accompanying film for Channel 4, she tells the stories of women and gender non-conforming people through portraits of their vulvas. One was about female genital mutilation. Vulvas are rarely seen outside porn and childbirth, which Dodsworth puts down partly to their position on the body.
It can help with body image anxiety. Now, her latest work puts vulvas and vaginas in the spotlight thanks to her new book Womanhood: The Bare Reality and forthcoming Channel 4 documentary: Vaginas. And when women share intimate photos and deeply personal experiences relating to their vaginas, the result is a tender yet taboo-exploding message of women reclaiming their womanhood. I think a part of me was shying away from that intimacy because I would have to address my own related experiences.