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HomeHealthCan A Woman Get A Period After Menopause

Can A Woman Get A Period After Menopause

Ht Forms And Regimens

Can Periods Restart After Menopause?

HT comes in several forms:

  • Oral tablets or pills
  • Vaginal ring
  • Topical gel or spray

HT pills and skin patches are considered “systemic” therapy because the medication delivered affects the entire body. The risk for blood clots, heart attacks, and certain types of cancers is higher with hormone pills than with skin patches or other transdermal forms.

Vaginal forms of HT are called “local” therapy. Doctors generally prescribe vaginal applications of low-dose estrogen therapy to specifically treat menopausal symptoms such as vaginal dryness and pain during sex. This type of ET is available in a cream, tablet, or ring that is inserted into the vagina.

“Bioidentical” Hormones

“Bioidentical” hormone therapy is promoted as a supposedly more natural and safer alternative to commercial prescription hormones. Bioidentical hormones are typically compounded in a pharmacy. Some compounding pharmacies claim that they can customize these formulations based on saliva tests that show a woman’s individual hormone levels.

The FDA and many professional medical associations warn patients that “bioidentical” is a marketing term that has no scientific validity. Formulations sold in these pharmacies have not undergone FDA regulatory scrutiny. Some of these compounds contain estriol, a weak form of estrogen, which has not been approved by the FDA for use in any drug. In addition, saliva tests do not give accurate or realistic results, as a woman’s hormone levels fluctuate throughout the day.

But Here Is Why You Really Need To See Your Doctor

Endometrial cancer, which affects 2% to 3% of American women, is the most common type of gynecological cancer. According to the American Cancer Society, it most often affects postmenopausal women 60 is the average age at diagnosis. There is currently no way to screen for endometrial cancer. Identifying it early has become a pressing issue, because the incidence of this cancer has risen gradually but steadily over the past 10 years, according to the National Cancer Institute.

Endometrial cancer is a fairly common disease, and its unfortunately becoming more common due to the growing rates of obesity, says Dr. Berkowitz. A womans risk of endometrial cancer can increase substantially if she is obese. Generally, risk rises among women who are 50 pounds or more above their ideal body weight, he says.

This is because of the role estrogen plays in endometrial cancer. The most common type of endometrial cancer, known as type 1 cancer, is fueled by estrogen. Estrogen is produced by body fat, so women with a larger amount of fatty tissue generally have higher levels of estrogen. They also typically have more free estrogen, an active form that produces stronger effects. This may lead to cancerous changes in the uterine lining.

Give Yourself A Break

Introduce self-care into your daily life, even if its only for a few moments each day or scattered throughout your day as small breaks. Dr. DePree recommends trying new things. If youve always wanted to journal, do yoga, or start meditatingnows the time. And stay connected with others through phone calls and letters. Human connection can bolster our wellbeing in ways we dont even realizeespecially if were self-isolating alone.

The benefits of self-care are multi-layered. While they can help us feel better when everything around us seems chaotic and uncertain allowing us an outlet to express emotion or find solace stress management can also help to reduce physical inflammation. Its a win-win for the body and mind.

If all of this feels overwhelming, know that you are not alone and that you can take control of your health and wellness with the proper care and lifestyle adjustments. Introduce small, doable changes each day, and stick to them. Hold yourself accountable, but be self-compassionate and patient with yourself as you adopt any new lifestyle changes.

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The Diagnostic Process May Involve Multiple Steps

Even though postmenopausal bleeding can have a number of different causes, your doctors first objective is to rule out potential cancers.

Well usually do a physical exam to look for blood or masses, such as fibroids, followed by an ultrasound to see how thick a patients uterine lining is, Mantia-Smaldone explained. A postmenopausal womans uterine lining should be quite thin, since she isnt menstruating.

Endometrial cancer can cause the lining of the uterus to thicken. If your uterine lining appears thicker than normal, your doctor will recommend a biopsy, in which a sample of your uterine lining is removed and examined under a microscope.

Is Postmenopausal Bleeding A Reason To Worry

Follow these 9 tips to relief from menopause symptoms

Menopause is the phase of your life when youre over the age of 45 and havent had a period for a year. It can be a little scary if youve gotten used to not having your period and are unexpectedly bleeding after menopause. However, not all causes of postmenopausal bleeding are serious.

No matter what, make sure to talk to your doctor about your postmenopausal bleeding. Regardless of whats causing your symptoms, youll need to go in for a checkup to get a definitive diagnosis.

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Chemotherapy And Birth Defect Link

There is a substantial risk of children being born with birth defects because of chemotherapy.

Particularly during the first trimester, chemotherapy greatly increases the risk of malformations. Even in the second and third trimesters, chemotherapy increases the risk of pregnancy complications and the baby being born with a compromised immune system.

Its important to use birth control methods during treatment for chemotherapy, but avoid the pill. Chemotherapy can cause nausea, and vomiting may decrease the pill’s effectiveness.

Experts also recommend avoiding hormonal birth control containing estrogen. You may want to discuss progestin-only birth control with your healthcare provider.

The copper IUD is recommended for most women undergoing chemotherapy.

Not Sure What To Do Next

If you are still concerned about bleeding after menopause, use healthdirects online Symptom Checker to get advice on when to seek medical attention.

The Symptom Checker guides you to the next appropriate healthcare steps, whether its self care, talking to a health professional, going to a hospital or calling triple zero .

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How Will Menopause Affect Me

Symptoms of menopause may begin suddenly and be very noticeable, or they may be very mild at first. Symptoms may happen most of the time once they begin, or they may happen only once in a while. Some women notice changes in many areas. Some menopausal symptoms, such as moodiness, are similar to symptoms of premenstrual syndrome . Others may be new to you. For example:

  • Your menstrual periods may not come as regularly as before. They also might last longer or be shorter. You might skip some months. Periods might stop for a few months and then start up again.
  • Your periods might be heavier or lighter than before.
  • You might have hot flashes and problems sleeping.
  • You might experience mood swings or be irritable.
  • You might experience vaginal dryness. Sex may be uncomfortable or painful.
  • You may have less interest in sex. It may take longer for you to get aroused.

Other possible changes are not as noticeable. For example, you might begin to lose bone density because you have less estrogen. This can lead to osteoporosis, a condition that causes bones to become weak and break easily. Changing estrogen levels can also raise cholesterol levels and increase your risk for heart disease and stroke.

Talk to your doctor about possible treatment for your menopause symptoms if they bother you.

What Age Is Considered Early For Menopause

Menopause & You: Bleeding After Menopause

If you reach menopause before age 40, that is considered premature menopause, says Faubion. This occurs in about 1 to 2 percent of women, she says.

Experiencing menopause at 40 to 45 years of age is called early menopause, and that occurs in about 5 to 7 percent of the population, so its safe to say that at least 7 percent of women are going to go through menopause early or prematurely, says Faubion. Menopause at age 46 or older is considered normal, she says.

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What Happens At Your Hospital Or Clinic Appointment

The specialist may do tests to help find out the cause of the bleeding and plan any treatment.

They’ll probably examine your pelvis and vagina. They may insert a speculum into your vagina to hold it open, to see the inside of the vagina and the cervix.

Your specialist may also press on your tummy and inside your vagina. This is to check for lumps, tenderness or other abnormalities.

Other tests may include a vaginal ultrasound scan. Your specialist places a small device in your vagina to scan for any problems.

You may need a hysteroscopy. You’ll have this under local or general anaesthetic.

Your specialist passes a thin, telescope-like camera into your vagina, through the cervix and into your womb. They can look for any problems in your womb. They’ll take a biopsy for testing.

Health Risks For Pregnancies Later In Life

Health risks in pregnancy increase with age. After age 35, the risks of certain problems rise in comparison to younger women. These include:

  • Multiple pregnancy, especially if you have IVF. Multiple pregnancies can result in early birth, low birth weight, and difficult delivery.
  • Gestational diabetes, which can cause health problems for both mom and baby.
  • High blood pressure, which requires careful monitoring and possibly medication to ward off complications.

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Will Being Super Healthy Help Delay Menopause

Although maintaining good overall health is important for a variety of reasons, it wont necessarily translate to later menopause, says Streicher. I have women who tell me, I have a healthy diet, Im thin, I work out all the time, and I look young. Im sure Im not going to go through menopause early, and when I do, I wont have hot flashes and other symptoms. I wish I could say that was true, but its not, she says.

Body weight might matter, though. We do know that the extremes of weight, in someone who is very obese or someone with very low body weight, may impact the onset of menopause, but for the majority of women in the middle it doesnt seem to have a big impact, says Streicher.

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Ial Or Supracervical Hysterectomy

Menopause symptoms: How long do they last?

This type of hysterectomy removes a minimal amount of the upper uterus while the cervix is left in place. This is a less-invasive form of hysterectomy to support recovery from sexual dysfunction. It is not recommended to treat endometriosis, uterine fibroids, uterine prolapse, chronic pelvic pain, or abnormal uterine bleeding.

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Are Menopausal Women Specifically More At Risk For The Coronavirus

According to gynecologist Barb DePree, MD, COVID-19 is not likely to be a significant additional risk to menopausal women per se, but menopause is a time women begin to have increased risk for heart disease and type 2 diabetes, once they lose the protective effects of estrogen. These co-morbidities definitely increase risk for women who may contract COVID-19.

In fact, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention says age, heart disease, and diabetes can all increase your chance of being severely ill with the Coronavirus. More so, weight gain, which may be caused by menopause, can also complicate matters.

Frustratingly, for women in menopause, a decrease in estrogen could potentially cause increased vulnerability to severe symptoms. There is some investigational research data suggesting estrogen may be somewhat protective for women exposed to the Coronavirus, Dr. DePree says.

Menopause itself can therefore impact immunity, says Dr. DePree. Immunity is a complex issue that is impacted by multiple factors some of which we control, and some less so, she says. The hormone estrogen is shown to have a protective role in women, so women who are not on hormone therapy during menopause might be more at-risk than those without a decline in estrogen.

Menopause is also linked to cancer risk, as well as a decrease in T-cells, the immune systems cells that work to fight off cancer cells and foreign invaders, and which bolster the immune response in general.

What Is Perimenopause Or The Transition To Menopause

Perimenopause , or the menopausal transition, is the time leading up to your last period. Perimenopause means around menopause.

Perimenopause is a long transition to menopause, or the time when your periods stop permanently and you can no longer get pregnant. As your body transitions to menopause, your hormone levels may change randomly, causing menopause symptoms unexpectedly. During this transition, your ovaries make different amounts of the hormones estrogen and progesterone than usual.

Irregular periods happen during this time because you may not ovulate every month. Your periods may be longer or shorter than usual. You might skip a few months or have unusually long or short menstrual cycles. Your period may be heavier or lighter than before. Many women also have hot flashes and other menopause symptoms during this transition.

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How Will I Know If I Am Starting The Transition To Menopause

Sometimes it can be hard for you and your doctor to tell whether you are in perimenopause, the transition to menopause:

  • Symptoms: Tell your doctor or nurse about any menopause symptoms, such as hot flashes or trouble sleeping.
  • Irregular periods: Track your periods. Irregular periods may be your first sign of menopause.
  • Hormone levels: Your doctor may test the amount of hormones in your blood if your periods stopped at an early age . Doctors dont usually recommend this test unless there is a medical reason to do so. This is because, for most women, hormone levels go up and down in an unpredictable way during the transition to menopause. So it is difficult to tell for sure whether you have gone through menopause or are getting close to it based on this blood test.

General Recommendations For Ht

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Current guidelines support the use of HT for the treatment of severe hot flashes that do not respond to non-hormonal therapies. General recommendations include:

  • HT may be started in women who have recently entered menopause.
  • HT should not be used in women who have started menopause many years ago.
  • Women should not take HT if they have risks for stroke, heart disease, blood clots, and breast cancer.
  • Currently, there is no consensus on how long HT should be used or at what age it should be discontinued. Treatment should be individualized for a woman’s specific health profile.
  • HT should be used only for menopause symptom management, not for chronic disease prevention.

Initiating Therapy

Before starting HT, your doctor should give you a comprehensive physical exam and take your medical history to evaluate your risks for:

  • Heart disease
  • Osteoporosis
  • Breast cancer

While taking HT, you should have regular mammograms and pelvic exams and Pap smears. Current guidelines recommend that if HT is needed, it should be initiated around the time of menopause. Studies indicate that the risk of serious side effects is lower for women who use HT while in their 50s. Women who start HT past the age of 60 appear to have a higher risk for side effects such as heart attack, stroke, blood clots, or breast cancer. HT should be used with care in this age group.

Discontinuing Therapy

Safety Concerns

Women who should not take hormone therapy include those with the following conditions:

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Bleeding After Menopause: How To Get A Diagnosis

No matter the cause of your postmenopausal bleeding, its important to visit the doctor. In most cases, this symptom is caused by a minor condition however, all possible causes must be ruled out. There are several different tests and/or procedures your doctor might recommend to discover the cause of postmenopausal bleeding.

How Do You Know The Cause Of Postmenopausal Bleeding

  • Identifying the cause of the bleeding can include the following:
  • Exam by your provider of the vagina and cervix.
  • Pap smear to check the cervical cells.
  • Ultrasound, usually using a vaginal approach, which may include the use of saline to make it easier to see any uterine polyps.
  • Biopsy of the endometrium or uterus. In this procedure, your healthcare provider gently slides a small, straw-like tube into the uterus to collect cells to see if they are abnormal. This is done in the office and can cause come cramping.

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Why You Shouldnt Ignore Postmenopausal Bleeding

A woman is considered to be in menopause after 12 consecutive months without a period. You may experience irregular bleeding leading up to menopause, a stage known as perimenopause. But once youre in menopause, all vaginal bleeding should stop.There are benign causes of postmenopausal bleeding. For 10 percent of women, however, the cause is endometrial cancer.Early diagnosis offers the best chance to beat endometrial cancer. I urge women to treat postmenopausal bleeding as cancer until proven to be something else. I dont say this to scare people, but a healthy amount of worry in this situation is warranted.

Ovarian And Uterine Cancers

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Cancer of the ovary or uterus can cause abdominal cramps. Your risk for these cancers increases in your 50s and beyond. Cramps alone arent reason to assume you have cancer. Women who have cancer usually have other symptoms along with cramps, such as:

  • vaginal bleeding
  • fatigue
  • unexplained weight loss

Any worrisome symptoms warrant a visit to your doctor just to make sure theyre not due to something serious.

You may be more likely to get one of the conditions that causes cramps after menopause if you:

  • took estrogen for menopause symptoms
  • have a family history of ovarian or uterine cancer
  • got your first period before age 12
  • started menopause after age 52
  • used an IUD to prevent pregnancy

Think about whether you have any of these risk factors. Then, discuss them with your doctor.

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