HomeHealthCan You Still Have Menstrual Cramps After Menopause

Can You Still Have Menstrual Cramps After Menopause

Hormone Therapy And Uterine Fibroids

Can Periods Restart After Menopause?

The use of hormone therapy after menopause is associated with a greater risk for a fibroids diagnosis, as reported in a 2017 peer-review article of most studies to date. The risk of surgically confirmed fibroids increased up to sixfold in people using estrogen or combined estrogen-progestin therapy compared with nonusers.

Other Causes For Period Changes

The regular monthly period is not the only reason why people may bleed.

Because a persons periods are often irregular during perimenopause, they should pay extra attention for any abnormal symptoms particularly as some uterus-related conditions are more common during and after perimenopause.

People may bleed because of:

  • Endometrial atrophy. Low estrogen in perimenopause and menopause can cause the tissue of the uterus to get very thin, which can cause irregular bleeding.
  • Uterine polyps. These are benign growths that can grow inside the uterus and cervix. Polyps do not always cause symptoms, but some people notice bleeding after sex.
  • Endometrial hyperplasia. Hormonal shifts can cause the lining of the uterus to thicken in perimenopause. When the body has too much estrogen without enough progesterone, this thickness may cause bleeding. Bleeding is its most common symptom. Endometrial hyperplasia is treatable but can increase a persons risk of cancer.
  • Uterine Cancer. Uterine cancer happens when abnormal or atypical cells progress into cancer. Though rare, it generally presents with heavy bleeding or postmenopausal bleeding.

Perimenopause is not a disease and does not require treatment. It can, however, increase peoples risk of developing certain diseases. Moreover, the menstrual cycle can change for reasons other than perimenopause.

Anyone experiencing changes in their menstrual cycle should see a doctor for a diagnosis.

What Causes Ovary Pain During Menopause

Perimenopause is a period of up to about a year when your periods will start to taper off. Youll still have some cramps and bleeding. This signifies that your periods arent quite over with. Complicating the matter is the fluctuations of the hormones estrogen and progesterone. This can add to your pain and discomfort. Youll likely experience other menopause symptoms such as hot flashes, vaginal dryness, night sweats, and mood swings or irritability.

There are several conditions that can cause pain in the ovaries during or after menopause. Endometriosis is a condition that causes tissue thats normally only found in the uterus to grow in your ovaries or pelvis. Each time you get a period this tissue will swell and cause pain. While most women stop after menopausal symptoms appear, some women report continuing to have symptoms of endometriosis. If you take hormone therapy, estrogen will make the symptoms worse.

Cancer of the uterus or ovary can cause abdominal pain, but this will also be accompanied by other symptoms like unexplained weight loss, abdominal bloating, vaginal bleeding, and fatigue.

Uterine fibroid can also be a source of abdominal pain. These growths, usually non-cancerous form in the wall of the uterus. Most fibroid begin earlier in life, but it is possible for them to form in women during their 50s. Although fibroid usually stop growing or shrink, many women report problems after their periods have stopped.

Sonya Collins Brunilda Nazario, MD

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What Are The Symptoms Of Fibroids After Menopause

The sooner you detect fibroidsor any other health conditionsthe better.

If you have any of the following symptoms, reach out to your doctor to see if there is anything to be concerned about:

  • Unusual bleeding. In this recent study, 90% of postmenopausal patients diagnosed with endometrial cancer reported experiencing vaginal bleeding. While some spotting in peri and post-menopause can be normal, its worth checking out any symptoms that feel weird to you.
  • Vaginal discharge that is thin, white, and clear.
  • Extreme fatigue
  • Pain during or after sex
  • Discomfort when urinating

Whats The Outlook For People With Uterine Cancer

Cramps after menopause: Causes, diagnosis, and treatment

The National Cancer Institute reports that the five-year survival rate for endometrial cancer is 81%. That means 81% of people diagnosed with the disease are alive five years later. The rate is even higher when cancer is localized and hasnt spread outside the uterus. Then the survival rate reaches as high as 95%. Treatments continue to improve, along with survival rates.

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There Are Several Potential Causes But Some Are More Serious Than Others

In most cases, postmenopausal bleeding is caused by issues such as endometrial atrophy , vaginal atrophy, fibroids, or endometrial polyps. The bleeding could also be a sign of endometrial cancera malignancy of the uterine lining, but only in a small number of cases. A 2018 study by the National Cancer Institute found that only about 9 percent of postmenopausal women who saw a doctor for bleeding later received a diagnosis of endometrial cancer.

Still, we want the option to intervene early if it is cancer, since treating it sooner leads to better outcomes, Mantia-Smaldone said.

If endometrial cancer is found early, a woman has a 95 percent chance of surviving the cancer for at least 5 years.

An Introduction To Period Pain And Menopause

Most women experience period pain at some stage during their life. It can be a common symptom among menstruating women and part of PMS . However, as you approach the menopause, period pain may become worse again. One worrying symptom of the menopause is experiencing period pain, but having no periods. However disconcerting this may be, it is a common experience.

Period pain occurs when the muscles in the womb contract. This compresses the blood supply and reduces the level of oxygen in the tissues. This then causes you to experience pain in the lower abdomen, and sometimes in the back and thighs.

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What Causes Period Symptoms Without A Period During Menopause

So, why does this happen? It’s nearly always due to low oestrogen. All that’s happening here is that your oestrogen is starting to fall, but it still has a cycle every month, so it still goes up in the middle of the month and down towards the end of the month. It’s still high enough to trigger those PMS symptoms but it’s not high enough to trigger a period.

What Are The Symptoms Of Perimenopause

Period symptoms but no period during menopause

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 dont 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 .

Posted4 years agobyAndreas Obermair

At what age do you expect menopause to occur? How does it affect your health and cancer risk?

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When To See Your Doctor

If your cramps are severe, life-disrupting, or persistent, see your doctor. You should also make an appointment if:

  • You just started getting cramps for the first time in your life, or theyve become more severe.
  • Youre experiencing other symptoms, like heavy bleeding, weight loss, or dizziness.

During the exam, your doctor will ask about your medical history and symptoms. Your doctor will also check your reproductive organs. You may get imaging tests, such as an ultrasound or CT scan, to find out if a problem with your ovaries is causing your cramps.

How Are Cramps After Menopause Diagnosed

If you have cramps after menopause, make an appointment with your primary care doctor or OB-GYN so you can find out whats causing them. Your doctor may do a pelvic exam to look at your uterus to see if there are any physical problems.

You might also need imaging tests to look inside your body at your uterus or ovaries. These tests can include:

  • a CT scan
  • an MRI scan
  • a hysterosonography and hysteroscopy, which involve placing a salt and water solution, or saline, into your uterus so the doctor can examine it more easily
  • an ultrasound, which uses sound waves to create pictures of the inside of your body

If your doctor suspects you have cancer, you may need to have a procedure to remove a piece of tissue from your uterus or ovaries. This is called a biopsy. A specialist called a pathologist will look at the tissue under a microscope to determine if its cancerous.

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Treating Cramps After Menopause

Treatment for postmenopausal cramps will vary depending on the underlying cause. Some possible treatment options may include:

Fibroids: If you do have pain caused by fibroids, painkillers will usually be recommended first.

There are medications available to help shrink fibroids. If these prove ineffective, surgery, such as a myomectomy or hysterectomy, may be recommended.

Endometriosis: There’s no cure for endometriosis and it can be difficult to treat. Treatment aims to ease symptoms so the condition does not interfere with your daily life.

  • Medication: Pain medication may be prescribed to ease discomfort.
  • Surgery: Surgery is usually reserved for severe symptoms when hormones are not providing relief. During the operation, the surgeon can locate the sites of your endometriosis and may remove the endometrial patches.

Irritable Bowel Syndrome: Treatment for IBS can include changes to diet and lifestyle, mind/body therapies , and medications. Often, a combination of treatments will provide the most relief. There is still much that is not understood about IBS, so it may take some experimentation with different therapies to achieve positive results.

It Might Be Worth Seeing A Specialist

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Your gynecologist should be able to perform your initial evaluation. But, if he or she suspects that your bleeding might be related to cancer, its important to see a gynecologic oncologist, Mantia-Smaldone said.

Endometrial cancer is usually treated with surgery that includes a hysterectomy, which may be followed by radiation and/or chemotherapy. Because gynecologic oncologists deal with female reproductive cancers every day, they have more experience operating on cancers, staging them correctly, and determining the best course of therapy. And that can add up to a more successful treatment outcome.

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Southern Cross Medical Library

The purpose of the Southern Cross Medical Library is to provide information of a general nature to help you better understand certain medical conditions. Always seek specific medical advice for treatment appropriate to you. This information is not intended to relate specifically to insurance or healthcare services provided by Southern Cross. For more articles go to the Medical Library index page.

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Things To Know About Postmenopausal Bleeding

Spotting or light bleeding after menopause might not seem like a serious problem, but you should never ignore it or wait to bring it up with your doctor. After a womans periods have stopped, vaginal bleeding could be a sign of a health issueincluding endometrial cancer. Heres what every postmenopausal woman should know.

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When To See A Doctor

Your risk for ovarian cancer increases as you get older. Ovarian cancer is rare in people under 40. Half of all ovarian cancers are found in people with a uterus and ovaries aged 63 years or older.

Symptoms of ovarian cancer include:

  • Feeling bloated
  • Discomfort in your abdomen or pelvic area
  • Feeling full quickly when eating, or having a loss of appetite
  • Needing to urinate more often or more urgently than usual
  • Pain during sex
  • Weight loss
  • Constipation

Many noncancerous conditions can also cause these symptoms, so try not to worry too much if you experience something on the list. Still, if you have symptoms, its a good idea to see your doctor for an exam to rule out cancer.

Getting To The Bottom Of It

Irregular Periods During Perimenopause

Postmenopausal bleeding can range from light spotting that is pinkish-gray or brown, all the way to a heavy flow, like a regular period. Most of the time, there is no pain with the bleeding. No matter your exact symptoms, youll want to get in touch with your ob-gyn right away if this happens to you.

Any evaluation should start with a detailed conversation, either in person or via telehealth . Your ob-gyn should ask questions such as:

  • When did you go through menopause? The longer its been, the greater cause for concern and the more testing we might need to do.
  • Are you taking any new medications? Some drugs, such as blood thinners and some mental health medications, can have vaginal bleeding as a side effect.
  • What else is going on with your health? Other medical conditions could be relevant.

A pelvic exam usually is needed when were talking about unexplained vaginal bleeding. During the exam, your ob-gyn may look at your vagina and cervix and feel the size of your uterus.

The next steps will depend on your age, how long it has been since you reached menopause, and how much bleeding youre experiencing. Your ob-gyn might suggest a pelvic ultrasound to look at your uterus more closely or a biopsy to take a tissue sample from the lining of your uterus. You might even need both.

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Treatment Of Pelvic Pain

If the disorder causing pelvic pain is identified, that disorder is treated if possible.

Pain relievers may also be needed. Initially, pain is treated with nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs , such as ibuprofen. Women who do not respond well to one NSAID may respond to another. If NSAIDs are ineffective, other pain relievers or hypnosis may be tried.

If the pain involves muscles, rest, heat, or physical therapy may help.

Rarely, when women have severe pain that persists despite treatment, hysterectomy can be done, but it may be ineffective.

What Does The Endometrium Do

The endometrium is the inner layer of the uterus. It changes during the menstrual cycle.

A hormone called estrogen causes the endometrium to thicken in case of pregnancy. If no pregnancy occurs, the body produces less estrogen and more progesterone, a different hormone. When that happens, the endometrial lining sheds. Thats when periods take place.

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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.

Are You Still Suffering From Cramps After Menopause This Might Be Why

Implantation Cramps vs. PMS [Signs &  Symptoms]

When a woman officially goes through menopause, it means that she hasnt had her period for 12 consecutive months. Without monthly ovulation, most women do not suffer from typical menstruation symptoms such as cramps and bloating.

However, for some, it is still possible to get cramps after menopause. Oftentimes, these are a sign that you havent completely reached menopause yet, or they could be indicative of another health condition.

If you are still receiving period symptoms such as cramps, bleeding, lower back pain, fatigue, or constipation, this might be why!

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Will I Start Menopause If I Have A Hysterectomy

During a hysterectomy, your uterus is removed. You wont have a period after this procedure. However, if you kept your ovaries removal of your ovaries is called an oophorectomy you may not have symptoms of menopause right away. If your ovaries are also removed, you will have symptoms of menopause immediately.

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 .

You cant get pregnant after menopause, but anyone who has sex can get . 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 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 See A Doctor With Menopause Lower Abdominal Pain

You should call an ambulance or go to the emergency department if you have lower abdominal pain and:

  • youve had an injury to your abdomen
  • the pain is really bad
  • you might have eaten something poisonous
  • youre being sick and its bright green, bloody, or looks like coffee grounds
  • youre vomiting and cant keep any fluids down
  • your tummy looks very swollen
  • your poo looks very dark, like tar
  • theres a lot of blood in your poo or pee
  • you havent pooed or farted all day
  • you havent peed all day, or youre suddenly unable to pee
  • you feel very confused or sleepy
  • you feel very unwell, you have a high temperature , your heart is very fast, you feel dizzy or faint, or have any other signs of blood poisoning
  • you have a very painful lump in your tummy or groin that cant be pushed back in
  • youre pregnant and the pain is bad, you have heavy vaginal bleeding, you also have pain where your shoulder meets your arm, or you feel dizzy or faint

See a doctor within 24 hours if you have lower abdominal pain and:

  • diarrhoea that lasts more than 7 days
  • vomiting for over 2 days
  • a fever
  • pain in your back thats just under your ribs
  • you feel shaky or shivery
  • urinary tract infection symptoms that dont improve after 2 days
  • UTI symptoms and you have a penis, youre older, frail or a child, or your symptoms come back
  • unusual vaginal discharge, or you think you may have a sexually transmitted infection

See your doctor as soon as possible if you have lower abdominal pain and:

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