Jennifer Garner recalls learning about vaginal collapse from her OB-GYN: ‘What is happening?’
Jennifer Garner has opened up about motherhood, living in the Hollywood spotlight, and some of the anatomical mysteries that come with ageing.
The 51-year-old actor, who recently posed for the May 2023 cover of Allure, shared her shocked reaction after an enlightening visit to her gynecologist.
“I just learned that our vaginas may collapse,” Garner recalled. “I saw my OB this week and she gave me a pamphlet about vaginal collapse.”
The 13 Going on 30 star described her panicked reaction upon learning about the vaginal prolapse, which occurs when the muscles that support the organs in the pelvis begin to weaken: “I’m like, ‘When? Is it imminent? Do I need to put it in my calendar? What is happening?!’”
When asked by Allure whether the condition is the “same thing that happens when you pee if you sneeze,” Garner replied: “No, that’s not collapse. Collapse is like you can’t have sex because you can’t get in there because it’s collapsed on itself.”
Not exactly. Vaginal prolapse, also referred to as vaginal collapse, happens when a person’s pelvic floor muscles weaken and stretch. This can result in the muscles that support the vagina dropping from their normal location in the body, according to Johns Hopkins Medicine.
People assigned female at birth are at increased risk of developing vaginal prolapse if they delivered children vaginally and are approaching or experiencing menopause. In fact, it’s fairly common for people to experience some type of pelvic area prolapse later in life.
Now that Jennifer Garner’s three children – whom she shares with ex-husband Ben Affleck – have grown older, the actor said she’s gained “a lot of faith” that her children will figure out who they’re supposed to be.
“Being a mother was one thing I knew I was going to be,” the Alias star said. “I really could have been a mother in any way. I could have adopted, I could have fostered, but there was no doubt I was going to be a mom.”
She continued: “Your kids will really figure out who they are and what they are when they’re older, and most likely they will hew toward lovely. I have a lot of faith in my kids. I don’t love every behavior all the time, always. It’s gnarly growing up.”
Garner also revealed that her children – Violet, 17, Seraphina, 14, and Samuel, 11 – prefer to watch their father Ben Affleck’s movies over her because they “don’t really want to see [her] in a romantic thing.”
“They don’t mind watching their dad, but they kind of want me to be their mom. They don’t want to see me upset and women cry more in what we do,” she said.
As for how she’s often perceived as the “nice” girl in Hollywood, Garner admitted that her sweet reputation can come with some downsides, especially when she’s not in the happiest of moods.
“The problem with, ‘Oh, she’s so nice’ is that when I have any kind of boundary, people think of it as much more than it actually is,” she explained. “The problem is being recognised on a day where I’m not so nice or when I have blackness in my soul. I’ve definitely had days where I just can’t do it. I scowl at people before they can walk up to me. I’m not perfect, and I don’t think I’m rude, but I’m not good at being fake. I’m an open book of a person.”
Garner has recently been praised on the internet for her “wholesome” social media presence, from home cooking shows to taking part in viral trends. But despite her viral Instagram, Garner previously revealed that her children aren’t on social media – and her eldest daughter is “grateful” for it.
Last month, the Juno star explained to Today hosts Savannah Guthrie and Hoda Kotb how she’s kept her three teenagers off social media.
“I just said to my kids, ‘Show me the articles that prove that social media is good for teenagers, and then we’ll have the conversation,’” she shared. “Find scientific evidence that matches what I have that says that it’s not good for teenagers, then we’ll chat.”
While her daughter Violet is “grateful” that she doesn’t have social media, she noted that Seraphina and Samuel are also still in their teens, so their perspectives on the topic could change over time.
“It’s a long haul,” she said. “I have a couple more to go, so just knock on wood. We’ll see if I really hang in there.”