'The 7 changes I didn't know would happen to my vagina in perimenopause.'

Thanks to our brand partner, Aci-Jel

As I wander down the personal care aisle of my local supermarket, I browse my handwritten shopping list. Amongst the usual culprits like roll-on deodorant, baby wipes, and moisturiser, I spot the familiar little addition that my husband jots down in barely legible scribble: Lube. 

He has written this on the shopping list as an in-joke every week for as long as I can remember and still to this day, it delivers the smile and giggle I need to get me through the chaos that is grocery shopping. What’s funny however, is that this once silly just-for-a-laugh scrawl now carries an entirely new meaning. 

You see, I recently turned 41, and I’ve entered the stage of what I am pretty sure is perimenopause. I’m no medical expert and I don’t have any experience with being a medical professional of any kind, but I do know my body. And my vagina. And outside of the fact that I know that perimenopause commonly occurs during the ages of 40 to 44 (even as early as 30!) they’re both telling me that the following changes all point to this next phase of my life, whether I’m ready for it or not…

Vaginal dryness

My vagina has had a great life. She’s had magical experiences, experiences she’s learnt from, and she’s birthed two beautiful girls into the world. But what she is right now, is dry. Like a desert. If you close your eyes and picture orange, arid land with dirt flicking you in the eyes and tumbleweeds floating by, that’s my vagina.

Rest assured, this is completely normal at this stage of perimenopause as less oestrogen is produced and the tissue within the vagina becomes thinner and dryer — ultimately leading to changes in the natural lubrication process. If you experience this, you can add moisture and relief back into your bits with an option like Aci-Jel Restore


It’s a non-hormonal, water-based gel that is clinically proven to provide soothing, long-lasting moisture to your vagina, giving relief from symptoms of vaginal dryness, itching, irritation, and discomfort. You just apply it internally once every three days for best results using the hygienic pre-filled applicators which enable you to place the right amount of Aci-Jel Restore exactly where it is needed. It’s super soothing and a really easy way to help replenish that much-needed essential moisture and comfort. 

Discomfort during sex

Thanks to the aforementioned decrease in estrogen and a very common condition known as vulvovaginal atrophy, the tissue and lining of the vagina tends to thin and become less elastic during perimenopause, which can make intercourse uncomfy to begin with (hence the happy grabbing of the aforementioned lube). 

But what have I found that helps here? Lots of foreplay! If getting going is tough-going, have your partner (or yourself girl!) get a little touchy-feely for a little longer. You know, to get things moving along comfortably.

It is worth mentioning that if sex becomes painful or creates an intense burning feeling, a trip to your GP is always a good idea.

Vaginal itchiness and irritation

Boy oh boy, nothing compares to the old song and dance of feeling a little niggle and needing to wriggle at the most inopportune times. Just the other night my 4-year-old daughter asked me if I had bum worms because I couldn’t sit still whilst chowing down on my ramen (thanks Bluey!). 


The truth is, I can sometimes get a random little tickle which eventually grows in intensity and causes me to move my thighs and butt to lessen the irritation. I believe I have my falling oestrogen levels to thank for this so am working on ensuring I keep my vagina *moist* (many people's trigger word, I acknowledge!) and my mind off of the itching by keeping my hands busy before I cave in to the desire of unleashing my claws on my nether regions.

Burning when peeing

Whenever I have experienced even a slight burning sensation when peeing, I instantly believe I have a UTI. I stock up on the cranberry juice and scull it until I swear my pee runs clear and any ounce of burning is no more. Turns out, I was at the right track albeit a little excessive on the juice.

With the lack of estrogen production literally drying up my old girl, it also dries up the urethra which can create the perfect breeding ground for ‘bad’ bacteria and ultimately, the chance of infection (not unlike that of a UTI). The recommendation to help keep the urethra and bladder clear is to drink plenty of fluids, visit the loo regularly and even chat to your GP about any suitable supplements for you, which can help prevent the baddies from sticking themselves to the wall of the bladder.

Bladder leakage

Have you ever been jumping on the trampoline with the kids and suddenly needed to yell out for a tissue, worried that the kids might slip over? Or ever felt like you had plenty of time to make it to the loo, only to find that your pelvic floors had failed you a little by the time you got there? I hear you, friend. This is totally my life right now.


At first I thought it was just my vagina giving up after birthing two babies but it turns out, that a little leakage can be a symptom of perimenopause. What happens is, the drop in hormones causes your tissues to become stiffer and thinner which can weaken your pelvic floor muscles. And let’s not forget that, as vagina owners, our pelvic floor naturally weakens with age so it might be time to stock up on the panty liners.

Changes in your menstrual cycle

Now, I can’t speak to this symptom personally as I had a partial hysterectomy a couple of years ago, but I do have a girlfriend who, after the most blessed period regularity for her entire life, has reported changes in her menstrual cycle.

She shared that she has experienced an inconsistent bleed for several months now, with some months being so incredibly light that she needs nothing more than a panty liner and other months feeling like she needs to straddle a mattress protector. Along with hot flashes, troubling sleeping and mood swings that has her family hiding, she is very certain that these changes in her period are all part of perimenopause.

She recently started keeping a log of her cycle in a little notebook so she could keep track of her cycle and can eventually share it with her doctor. Perhaps if you are noticing any changes to your period, grab yourself a notebook and book a GP appointment to do the same.


Lower libido

Now, this is when I notice my vagina getting a little depressed. She really wants to feel loved, but on the inside of my brain and body, I don’t really feel like it. As a bright, bubbly, actively loving person, this is something I have really struggled with. So has my vagina.

After some reading, I have learnt that a change in sex drive is extremely normal for us, the two main contributing factors being age and hormonal changes. It’s the latter in perimenopause that can cause this dip in sexual desire and the ability to get aroused — and I’m not going to sugarcoat it, it can really suck, but maybe it’s just time for me to get more creative.

It can be tricky to accept that we’re getting older, but for me, entering perimenopause while uncomfortable at times, it’s also a privilege. I’m reaching a new chapter in my life, one that is unpredictable. And I find that a little bit exciting.

Explore Aci-Jel Restore, a clinically proven, non-hormonal, water-based gel that offers long-lasting relief from vaginal dryness, itching, irritation, and discomfort. 

Always read the label and follow the directions for use.

This information is general in nature and does not replace the advice of a healthcare professional. As with any medical condition, always seek health advice from a qualified healthcare professional.

Feature Image: Supplied.

At Aci-Jel we are passionate about vaginal health and wellness, so our products are specifically designed for Bajingos because life is too short to let vaginal dryness get in the way!