Can Periods Come Back After They Have Stopped
This is another question which we are often asked. The answer is yes. Your hormones don’t fall nicely and neatly as you go through the menopause. You can have times where your hormones are falling, so you’ll get these particular symptoms I mentioned above. But then your oestrogen can start to go up again, so it can end up peaking to the point where it could trigger your periods to start back up again.
So, as I said before, there are quite a few different scenarios where this can happen.
Understanding The Menopausal Transition
Menopause is a point in time 12 months after a woman’s last period. The years leading up to that point, when women may have changes in their monthly cycles, hot flashes, or other symptoms, are called the menopausal transition or perimenopause.
The menopausal transition most often begins between ages 45 and 55. It usually lasts about seven years but can be as long as 14 years. The duration can depend on lifestyle factors such as smoking, age it begins, and race and ethnicity. During perimenopause, the body’s production of estrogen and progesterone, two hormones made by the ovaries, varies greatly.
The menopausal transition affects each woman uniquely and in various ways. The body begins to use energy differently, fat cells change, and women may gain weight more easily. You may experience changes in your bone or heart health, your body shape and composition, or your physical function.
When Does Menopause Occur
Most women reach menopause between 45-55 years of age, and the average age for women in Australia to reach menopause is 51-52 years. Some women will have a later menopause, at up to 60 years of age, especially if there is a family history of late menopause.
Menopause sometimes occurs earlier than expected as a result of cancer treatment, surgery or unknown causes. This is discussed further in ‘Causes of menopause’.
What You Can Do Right Now To Support Your Physical And Mental Health During Menopause And Coronavirus
Aside from consulting with your doctor about any potential health issues, such as heart health and diabetes, youll want to engage in healthy lifestyle activities that can help you stay healthier during menopause and during quarantine, when health issues are compounded by both loss of routine and chronic anxiety.
There are plenty of lifestyle modifications you can make to protect your body and keep yourself healthy especially during a pandemic when you need to stay healthy. This starts with maintaining social distancing and protecting yourself by avoiding crowds, as well as washing your hands and disinfecting your home regularly.
When To See A Gp
It’s worth talking to a GP if you have menopausal symptoms that are troubling you or if you’re experiencing symptoms of the menopause before 45 years of age.
They can usually confirm whether you’re menopausal based on your symptoms, but a blood test to measure your hormone levels may be carried out if you’re under 45.
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Alternative And Natural Treatments And Supplements For Menopause Symptoms
There is no scientific consensus on the benefits or risks of any complementary or alternative treatment for menopausal symptoms. Many small trials may show individual benefits, but when data from multiple studies is analysed together the results are difficult to draw conclusions from . This important area of research is greatly underfunded, leaving people to test things on their own, or take other routes.
Some examples of treatments that have been explored:
What Is Postmenopausal Bleeding
Postmenopausal bleeding is bleeding that occurs after menopause. Menopause is a stage in a womans life when reproductive hormones drop and her monthly menstrual periods stop. Vaginal bleeding that occurs more than a year after a womans last period isnt normal. The bleeding can be light or heavy.
Postmenopausal bleeding is usually due to benign gynecological conditions such as endometrial polyps. But for about 10% of women, bleeding after menopause is a sign of uterine cancer . Uterine cancer is the most common type of reproductive cancer Talk to your healthcare provider if you experience any bleeding after menopause.
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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.
Other Drugs Used For Menopausal Symptoms
Despite its risks, hormone therapy appears to be the most effective treatment for hot flashes. There are, however, nonhormonal treatments for hot flashes and other menopausal symptoms.
The antidepressants known as selective serotonin-reuptake inhibitors are sometimes used for managing mood changes and hot flashes. A low-dose formulation of paroxetine is approved to treat moderate-to-severe hot flashes associated with menopause. Other SSRIs and similar antidepressant medicines are used “off-label” and may have some benefit too. They include fluoxetine , sertraline , venlafaxine , desvenlafaxine , paroxetine , and escitalopram .
Several small studies have suggested that gabapentin , a drug used for seizures and nerve pain, may relieve hot flashes. This drug is sometimes prescribed “off-label” for treating hot flash symptoms. However, in 2013 the FDA decided against approving gabapentin for this indication because the drug demonstrated only modest benefit. Gabapentin may cause:
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.
Should I Continue Using Birth Control During The Transition To Menopause
Yes. You can still get pregnant during perimenopause, the transition to menopause, even if you miss your period for a month or a few months. During perimenopause you may still ovulate, or release an egg, on some months.
But it is impossible to know for sure when you will ovulate. If you dont want to get pregnant, you should continue to use birth control until one full year after your last period. Talk to your doctor about your birth control needs. Learn more about different birth control methods.
You cant get pregnant after menopause, but anyone who has sex can get sexually transmitted infections . If you are not in a monogamous relationship in which you and your partner have sex with each other and no one else, protect yourself by using a male condom or dental dam correctly every time you have vaginal, oral, or anal sex. After menopause you may be more likely to get an STI from sex without a condom. Vaginal dryness or irritation is more common after menopause and can cause small cuts or tears during sex, exposing you to STIs.
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When To Seek Medical Advice
Although perimenopause is an inevitable part of every womans life, its still essential to see your gynecologist for an annual checkup. Theyll be able to assess your chances of developing menopause-related conditions and advise you on how to manage your symptoms.
However, should you notice any of the following warning signs, please seek medical attention right away.
- Side effects of hormone treatment
- Periods less than 21 days apart
- Bleeding between periods
At What Age Do Most Women Reach Menopause
The medical definition of menopause is no menstrual bleeding for a year, according to Lauren Streicher, MD, a clinical professor of obstetrics and gynecology and the medical director of the Northwestern Center for Menopause and the Northwestern Center for Sexual Medicine in Chicago.
Most women experience menopause between age 40 and 58, and the average age at menopause is 51, according to the North American Menopause Society.
Many women are surprised when they go through menopause in their forties because they think theyre too young, but its not unusual, says Dr. Streicher.
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Predicting Natural Menopause: Why Does Age Matter
If theres not a lot that women can do to change when theyll experience menopause, why does predicting it even matter?
It would be helpful for every woman to know exactly when menopause will arrive. Beyond recognizing and addressing issues such as increased cardiovascular disease risk and risks related to bone health, if a woman knows her age of menopause and how long the perimenopause transition will last, it could help her make important health decisions, says Faubion.
If youre bleeding like crazy it would be helpful to know, she says.
As of now, research hasnt uncovered a way to determine when a women will go into menopause, but having that information could be useful in making decisions such as whether to have a or other invasive procedures, says Faubion. If menopause is going to be a few months or a year from now, you may choose to wait it out if it’s going to be five years from now, you might want to go ahead and have an invasive procedure, she says.
The ability to predict when menopause will occur could also help with managing or deciding which type of birth control to use, adds Faubion.
What Causes Bleeding After Menopause
Bleeding after menopause is rarely cause for concern. It does need to be investigated, however, because in very few cases it will be an indicator of something more serious.
In about 90 per cent of cases, a particular cause for bleeding after menopause will not be found. This is not a cause for alarm, if there is a serious problem it will be identified through investigations. Most of the time, postmenopausal bleeding is caused by:
- inflammation and thinning of the lining of your vagina
- thinning of the lining of your uterus
- growths in the cervix or uterus which are usually not cancerous
- thickened endometrium often because of hormone replacement therapy
- abnormalities in the cervix or uterus.
These are generally not serious problems and can be cured relatively easily.
However, about 10 per cent of the time, post-menopausal bleeding is linked to cancer of the cervix or uterus and so it is very important to have it investigated.
Read Also: What Helps With Dizziness During Menopause
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 .
What Are The Symptoms Of Perimenopause
During perimenopause, you can experience a variety of symptoms. The reason: Your ovaries have been making estrogen since your first period. During perimenopause, the estrogen production decreases substantially. Your body has to adjust to functioning with less of the hormone, putting you into estrogen withdrawals. The type and intensity of symptoms vary greatly among women some just feel a little off or don’t notice anything at all.
Others can experience perimenopausal symptoms including:
- Trouble sleeping
- Feeling irritable, anxious or depressed
- Night sweats
- Hot flashes
About 80 percent of women will experience some form of a hot flash during perimenopause or menopause. Hot flashes happen when your brain has trouble regulating your internal temperature, which is a common response to having less estrogen. The shift in temperature may not be noticeable. Or, it may feel like someone cranked up the thermostat on your core body temperature. You suddenly feel uncomfortably hot and sweaty, or you may wake up drenched in sweat .
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Treating Post Menopause Bleeding
If you have postmenopausal bleeding it is important to have it investigated.
You will most likely be referred to a gynaecologist who may:
- ask you questions about the history of your health
- examine you
- do a blood test
- look at the inside of your vagina and cervix using special tongs . At the same time, they may take a tiny sample of your cervix for testing .
The kind of treatment you have will depend on what is causing the bleeding.
- Atrophic vaginitis and thinning of the endometrium are usually treated with drugs that work like the hormone oestrogen. These can come as a tablet, vaginal gel or creams, skin patches, or a soft flexible ring which is put inside your vagina and slowly releases the medication.
- Polyps are usually removed with surgery. Depending on their size and location, they may be removed in a day clinic using a local anaesthetic or you may need to go to hospital to have a general anaesthetic.
- Thickening of the endometrium is usually treated with medications that work like the hormone progesterone and/or surgery to remove the thickening.
Before treatment there are a number of tests and investigations your gynaecologist may recommend.
All treatments should be discussed with you so that you know why a particular treatment or test is being done over another.
So What Kind Of Symptoms Are You Likely To Get
Most women will find their symptoms to be very similar to the ones they had before they started menopause. But, sometimes, they can be exaggerated and they can even be worse than they were before, which is not a nice situation to be in.
So, you might find that you get cramping, which tends to be the most common symptom. You can get the bloating. You can get the sugar cravings. You can get the breast tenderness, the irritability, the bad mood, the anger.
You might find that you get constipated, and you might find that you just feel really uncomfortable and heavy in this particular area.
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Sometime In Your 40s Or 50s You Will Experience The Process Of Menopause This Represents The Natural Decline In Fertility And The End Of The Menstrual Cycle Find Out What To Expect As You Go Through Menopause
Eventually, menstruation comes to an end, typically in the late 40s or early 50s. When you have had no periods for a full year, you are considered to be menopausal. The period of time when your periods are slowing down, becoming irregular, and your hormones are changing is called perimenopause. Most women experience some symptoms related to the change in hormones that happens as the cycles slow down. There are many things you can do to cope with perimenopausal symptoms if they become difficult to manage.
There Are Many Reasons That Periods Can Be Irregular Or Absent Some Require Treatment And Some Do Not
It is not uncommon to occasionally miss a period, or for periods to become irregular from time to time. Under some circumstances, periods can even stop altogether. Sometimes these irregularities are due to normal changes, and are not cause for concern. Other times, they are a sign that something is going on, and a call to your doctor is warranted.
Explore Irregular or Absent Periods:
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Reasons Your Period Stops
Natural menopause is a normal part of aging, although some people have induced menopause when both ovaries are removed or damaged by cancer treatments.
Age is the most common factor that influences menopause. As you age, the reproductive cycle begins to slow down and prepares to stop.
When your ovaries stop making estrogen, your menstrual cycle starts to change. It can become irregular and then stop.
In the last one to two years of perimenopause, the drop in estrogen accelerates. At this stage, many people with a uterus may experience menopause symptoms.
Its worth noting that even if your periods are irregular, you can still get pregnant during perimenopause.
How Do You Know You’re In Postmenopause
Your healthcare provider will be able to tell you if you’re in postmenopause based on your symptoms and how long it’s been since your last menstrual period. In some cases, your healthcare provider will take a blood sample and check your hormone levels to confirm you’ve gone through menopause. Remember, you’re not considered to be through menopause until it’s been over one year since youve had a period.
Why Am I Not Getting My Period At All
The medical term for absent periods is amenorrhea, and is considered to occur when a woman who has previously had normal periods stops menstruating for six months or more. Many of the causes of amenorrhea are the same as those for a skipped period. Your period can be absent for a number of reasons:
The most common reason to not get your period is because you are pregnant. A home pregnancy test can quickly tell you if that is the reason.
Most women stop getting their periods in their late 40s or early 50s. The average age is 51 years old.
If you breastfeed frequently, including at night-time, you may not get a period for many months. Be aware that you will ovulate prior to getting your period back, so birth control is important if you are not ready to be pregnant again.
While a sudden stressful life event can result in a single missed period, ongoing, high level stress and anxiety can cause your period to stop altogether. Managing stress though self-care, counselling, changing your life circumstances, medication, or other strategies can help you return to having normal periods.
Ongoing, dramatic weight loss, from low intake, excessive exercise, gastric bypass surgery, or eating disorders such as anorexia or bulimia can stop your period. This happens because the hormones required for ovulation are not produced.
High levels of prolactin
Premature ovarian failure