After Your Period Stops
The permanent end of menstrual periods doesnt necessarily mean the end of bothersome menopause symptoms, however.
Theres a window of about eight years in which women can feel those flashes and sweats, Dr. Audlin says.
Women who have reached menopause can expect menopause symptoms to become worse than they were during perimenopause, the 2- to 10-year stage leading up to the permanent end of menstruation. Experts dont know exactly why this happens, but its believed to be related to the hypothalamus, the portion of the brain that regulates temperature.
The hypothalamus is acutely responsive to estrogens, Audlin says. Leading up to menopause, your estrogen levels fluctuate. When theyre high, you dont have symptoms. But when you go into menopause and theres a complete lack of estrogen, you start to notice those symptoms more.
How Long Does The Transition To Menopause Last
Perimenopause, the transition to menopause, can last between two and eight years before your periods stop permanently. For most women, this transition to menopause lasts about four years. You will know you have reached menopause only after it has been a full year since your last period. This means you have not had any bleeding, including spotting, for 12 months in a row.
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.
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What Can Cause Period After Menopause
Whilst going through menopause, however, you may experience bleeding that looks similar to your menstrual cycle, even if you are not ovulating. This is known as perimenopausal bleeding, and you can even bleed after having already reached your menopause, which can indicate something serious, and you should make a medical visit as soon as possible. Some possible causes are listed below:
Polyps refer to growths that usually develop within the uterus, inside the cervical canal or on the cervix. These polyps can cause bleeding after menopause, yet they are usually benign.
2. Atrophy of the Endometrium
Atrophy of the endometrium , is a condition wherein the uterus’s tissue lining becomes extremely thin due to low estrogen levels caused by menopause. The occurrence of this condition can cause bleeding after menopause.
3. Endometrial Hyperplasia
This condition may be caused by over-eating and obesity, wherein the lining of the uterus becomes too thick, leading to vaginal bleeding. This condition may also lead to the development of abnormal cells, which may be an instigator for endometrial cancer.
4. Endometrial Cancer
5. Other Causes
Some medications may cause postmenopausal bleeding, leading you to think that you have had a period after menopause. Other causes include hormone therapy, and/or a uterus or cervix infection.
Ovarian And Uterine Cancers
Other symptoms of these cancers can include:
- vaginal bleeding
Conditions that cause cramps after menopause may be more likely to occur in people who:
- started their periods before the age of 12
- began menopause after the age of 52
- take estrogen to help control the symptoms of menopause
- have a family history of ovarian or uterine cancers
If abdominal or pelvic cramps are accompanied by other concerning symptoms, especially vaginal bleeding, a person should see a doctor, as soon as possible.
Anyone who is concerned about abdominal or pelvic cramping should also see a doctor.
A doctor will ask a person about their symptoms and medical history and do a physical examination. They may recommend referral to a specialist for further testing.
To discover if an underlying condition is causing abdominal cramps, a doctor may perform one or more of the following tests:
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Vaginal And Vulvar Atrophy
Postmenopausal atrophic vaginitis, or vaginal and vulvar atrophy , is the thinning of the walls of the vagina caused by decreased estrogen levels during menopause. As a result, the lining of the vagina may be more likely to bleed.
Vaginal and vulvar atrophy is caused by cellular changes during menopause. Changes in estrogen levels also cause a decrease in blood flow to the vaginal area, which further contributes to vaginal dryness and discomfort. Spotting during and after intercourse is a common symptom of VVA.
At least half of those who enter menopause have signs and symptoms of VVA, but only 20% to 25% seek medical attention from their doctor.
How Do You Get Rid Of Menopause Cramps Fast
According to the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists , over-the-counter pain relievers like ibuprofen, naproxen, and aspirin are effective treatments for cramps.
If you are looking for nonmedicinal help, try using a heating pad or a heated patch or wrap on your abdomen to help relax the muscles of your uterus. Heat can also boost circulation in your abdomen, which may help reduce pain.
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How Much Bleeding Is Normal After Menopause
You may think you have reached menopause if you have not had a period for a few months. However, it is still possible to have a period up to a year after your last one. After 12 months without a period, any bleeding at all is not normal.
Up to 1 in 10 women experience bleeding or spotting after their menopause. In most cases the bleeding is not serious and a cause may not be found. However, it needs to be checked because sometimes it can be a sign of cervical or uterine cancer, so it is always important to see a doctor if you notice any vaginal bleeding after menopause.
How Long Will Menopausal Transition Symptoms Last
Menopause is technically one full year without bleeding, and perimenopause is the stage before the final menstrual period, also known as the menopausal transition. Puberty and perimenopause are similar in that they both involve hormonal changes, and the transitions can take place over several years. Some medical organizations, such as the American Osteopathic Association, refer to perimenopause as reverse puberty in women.
According to NAMS, this phase can last four to eight years, and it comes with symptoms caused by hormone fluctuations, such as mood swings, poor sleep, and hot flashes.
The age at which a woman begins perimenopause can help predict how long the transition to menopause will last, according to research published in the journal Menopause in February 2017. The authors found that perimenopause lasted longer in women who started the transition at a younger age, and the women had more symptoms, such as hot flashes.
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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.
Are There Any Health Risks Associated With Postmenopause
People in postmenopause are at an increased risk for several conditions:
Estrogen helps protect against cardiovascular diseases like heart attack, heart disease and stroke. It is also common for people in postmenopause to become more sedentary, which contributes to high cholesterol and high blood pressure. These factors combined can increase a womans risk for cardiovascular diseases after menopause. A healthy diet, not smoking and getting regular exercise are your best options to prevent heart disease. Treating elevated blood pressure and diabetes as well as maintaining cholesterol levels are also ways to lower your risk.
People lose bone more rapidly after menopause due to decreased levels of estrogen. You may lose up to 25% of your bone density after menopause . When too much bone is lost, it increases your risk of developing osteoporosis and bone fractures. The bones of the hip, wrist, and spine are most commonly affected. Bone mineral density testing, also called bone densitometry, can be done to see how much calcium you have in certain parts of your bones. The test is used to detectosteoporosis and osteopenia, a precursor to osteoporosis.
Mental health issues
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Women Take Note Vaginal Bleeding After Menopause Is Unusual Period
Written by Debjani Arora | Updated : July 20, 2018 4:47 PM IST
Dubious can be the matters of women’s health and her hormones. While periods or menstruation is considered to be the most uncomfortable and painful phase of a woman’s life which compels her to deal with severe cramps, heavy flow and other debilitating conditions like endometriosis, PCOD, etc., menopause comes with its own set of problems. Lack of estrogen during menopause leads to a lot of physiological and psychological problems in women. Some of the most common symptoms of menopause are — vaginal dryness, low libido, decrease in bone density, fatigue and more. Some of these symptoms can be devastating to deal, to an extent that it could make a woman suffer in silence for long. This is when hormone replacement therapy is suggested for women.
How does it help?
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Period Again After None For 2 Years
I am 50 years old. I have not had a period for two years, but today I started. Is this normal?
26 likes, 1070 replies
Edited 4 months ago
I did have this happen to me also – postmenopausal bleeding – only a bit earlier . I could not attribute it to any particular changes and was frightened. Saw my family doc asap. He ordered a transvaginal ultrasound and I think I also had a smear. All was normal. You certainly should report this to your doctor, though – standard orders for any such bleeding. Call today.
Edited 4 months ago
I am so glad to have found this forum. Suddenly had a period after a 13 month period. I was not surprised to see it as two weeks prior had some signs that I was ovulating. But on being advised by a friend to see a doctor I googled post menopausal bleeding and was scared to death with what I read about it possibly being signs of cancer. I didn’t sleep last night as a result and will certainly get it checked out by the Doctor but I feel loads better to read that it seems to happen to quite a lot of women. Fingers crossed that everything is normal. But thanks everyone for sharing.
Edited 4 months ago
Sorry – should clarify: it is important to report vaginal bleeding that occurs AFTER 12 months have passed without a period. You clearly fall within that guideline.
Edited 4 months ago
i had a clear smear test this year but after 2 years of nothing, am having a heavy period. do i need to see doc still? i cant bare the thought of being poked about again.
When Should I Contact My Doctor
Contact your healthcare provider if you experience vaginal bleeding:
- More than a year after your last menstrual period.
- More than a year after starting hormone replacement therapy .
A note from Cleveland Clinic
Its normal to have irregular vaginal bleeding in the years leading up to menopause. But if you have bleeding more than a year after your last menstrual period, its time to see your healthcare provider. It could be the result of a simple infection or benign growths. But in rare cases, bleeding could be a sign of uterine cancer.
Last reviewed by a Cleveland Clinic medical professional on 05/26/2021.
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Causes Of Postmenopausal Bleeding
There can be several causes of postmenopausal bleeding.
The most common causes are:
- inflammation and thinning of the vaginal lining or womb lining caused by lower oestrogen levels
- cervical or womb polyps growths that are usually non-cancerous
- a thickened womb lining this can be caused by hormone replacement therapy , high levels of oestrogen or being overweight, and can lead to womb cancer
Less commonly, postmenopausal bleeding is caused by cancer, such as ovarian and womb cancer.
Possible Causes Of Periods After Menopause
Menopause is the final stage of a woman’s reproductive life cycle. Though it marks the end of menstruation, some women may experience postmenopausal bleeding or a period after menopause. Given below is some information on the causes of postmenopausal bleeding.
Menopause is the final stage of a womans reproductive life cycle. Though it marks the end of menstruation, some women may experience postmenopausal bleeding or a period after menopause. Given below is some information on some of the causes of postmenopausal bleeding.
- Since menopause marks the end of menstruation, having a period after menopause can cause stress. There are underlying causes of postmenopausal bleeding. Lets first look the reproductive life cycle of women. After the onset of puberty, women undergo a series of physiological changes throughout their reproductive years. The duration of the menstrual cycle ranges from 28 to 35 days. These changes are brought about by changes in the levels of hormones called estrogen and progesterone. The beginning of the menstrual cycle begins the rupture of uterine lining or the endometrium. The menstrual bleeding cycle lasts for a period of 3 to 5 days.
What Causes Postmenopausal Bleeding?
Women are said to be in menopause, if they have not gotten a single period for a year.
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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.
Postmenstrual Bleeding Treatment Options
Treatment options for postmenopausal bleeding will largely depend on whats causing your symptoms. Estrogen therapy can be used to treat conditions such as vaginal and endometrial atrophy. Progestin therapy, on the other hand, is used to treat endometrial hyperplasia.
Polyps can be removed during a hysteroscopy, or they might require surgery. Cancer and severe cases of endometrial hyperplasia can require a hysterectomy. If youre diagnosed with cancer, your doctor will discuss several options with you, including chemotherapy, radiotherapy, and hormonal treatments.
As with most other conditions, the most important step when it comes to postmenopausal bleeding is to get an early diagnosis. Once you know whats causing your symptoms, you and your doctor will be able to discuss treatment options and decide on the best course of action for your individual case.
Discovering that youre bleeding after menopause can be scary, but in most cases, the underlying condition can be treated with simple therapeutic options. Ensuring your wellbeing and overall health should always be your main concern.
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Postmenopausal Bleeding Is Never Normal
Whether its light spotting or a heavier flow, vaginal bleeding after menopause can signal potential health problems.
It should always be brought up with your provider, said Gina M. Mantia-Smaldone, MD, a gynecologic oncologist at Fox Chase Cancer Center. And the sooner, the better. Rather than waiting for your next planned checkup, give your gynecologist a call quickly to schedule an evaluation.
How To Deal With Period After Menopause
As previously stated, you should pay a visit to your doctor if you experience postmenopausal bleeding, so they are able to determine the cause and rule out any dangerous underlying health conditions or treat them if they are present. If it is determined that you are in fact experiencing perimenopausal bleeding, you can deal with that condition in the following ways.
1. Birth Control Medication
When going through menopauseand experiencing period after menopause, you can take oral contraceptive birth control medications to control symptoms related to the occurrence of hot flashes, sweating and bleeding, etc.
2. Hormonal Treatment
Hormonal medication such as progestogen can help to regulate the perimenopausal blood flow, helping to make it more manageable. This medication is a form of the hormone progesterone, which is responsible for causing the normal menstrual bleeding.Hormonal medication can be used in the treatment of endometrial hyperplasia.
3. Observing Your Symptoms
Although perimenopausal bleeding is often no cause for concern, it is always wise to inform your doctor of your condition, and observe any changes or irregularities. You also require iron supplements if the loss of blood is too extensive, which can be discussed with your doctor.
4. Enhance General Health
It is always advised to lead a healthy lifestyle to ensure for healthy life longevity, this is especially advised for those going through perimenopause and menopause. Some things to consider include:
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