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Relax, Kim, your vagina will still be fun after baby number 3

Charlotte Hilton Andersen is the author of the book The Great Fitness Experiment: One Year of Trying Everything and runs the popular health and fitness website of the same name, where she tries out a new workout every month, specializing...

No, babies don't actually ruin vaginas

"Like throwing a hot dog down a hallway" — Has there ever been a grosser analogy for sex? Not only does it make women afraid of the natural changes our bodies experience from aging and childbirth, but it also makes hot dogs terrifying. This needs to never be said again because let's face it: Both sex and hot dogs are pretty awesome. And also, it's just not true.

Kim Kardashian West just gave birth in December to her second child, but her husband Kanye is already talking about having another kid. (Which... is kind of cute, I confess. I never thought I'd say this, but Kanye seems like an awesome, caring, hands-on dad.) But Kim is decidedly less enthused about the prospect of baby No. 3. Her reason? Her lady parts will never recover.

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"I was like, 'I don't think I can carry another one'," she told her ex-brother-in-law Scott Disick on Keeping Up With The Kardashians. "I just think, 'Ugh, I’ll never be the same down there.' Kanye says it, like, feels the same."

When Scott replied that, "100 percent, things change" down there after having kids, Kim bluntly asked, "Like, it’s like throwing a hot dog down a hallway?"

First: Kim! Don't ask Scott Disick for sex advice.

Second: Listen to your husband. If Kanye says it feels the same, trust him, he's in a good position to know! Does it actually feel the same? Who knows! But if Kanye is like other husbands with little kids, he's probably just grateful he still has a sex life and doesn't care about the details.

Third: Um, Kim, you've already had two kids. The damage (if there was any) has already been done, honey. No one expects you to be virginal in any sense of the word.

Kim is definitely not alone in her sex fears, though. This obsession with being "tight" seems to be a fairly recent phenomenon, part of the overall concern about whether or not our internal and external lady parts are OK.

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"Women often come in asking whether they are ‘normal' down there," says Dr. Jeanne A. Conry, physician, Ph.D., Co-Chair of The National Preconception Health and Health Care Initiative. "Women do not understand the large anatomical variation in our bodies, beyond weight, eye color and hair color. Our genitalia are no different, and there is no ‘good’ or ‘bad’ or abnormal. This has given rise to a number of cosmetic surgical practices that ignore the normal variation, and try to create the illusion of an ideal anatomy."

Conry adds that she often shares "The Great Wall of Vagina," a website that shows pictures of many different vaginas, so her patients can understand variation is normal." And this variation goes for the parts you can't easily see as well.

But does this mean there are no changes after pushing out a 7 to 8-pound human? Hardly. A woman's anatomy does change during pregnancy and to accommodate a baby during childbirth. But it's also built to recover from that and there's a lot more happening biologically. If your sex life is worse after having kids it may simply be due to how our hormones change as we age, says Gerardo Bustillo, physician, OB/GYN at Orange Coast Memorial Medical Center in Fountain Valley, California.

The most common culprit of bad sex for women is vaginal dryness, he explains, and can happen regardless of whether you've birth one child, ten children, or zero children. "Vaginal dryness during sex is most often the result of insufficient estrogen effect on the vaginal wall and is quite common as women get older," he says.

And you don't have to accept uncomfortable, loose-feeling or painful sex, he says, adding that there are a variety of potential treatments, including lubricants, local estrogen treatment to the vagina (in the form of creams, vaginal pills or a vaginal estrogen ring) and an oral estrogen pill which targets primarily the vaginal lining. If you're really concerned, there is also a vaginal laser procedure called Mona Lisa Touch which he says is effective and drug-free.

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So "Lord" Disick isn't wrong — sex after kids is harder — but that may have a lot more to do with the worry that your toddler is going to walk in on you mid-act than anything to do with your vagina.

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