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Do Women Have Periods After Menopause

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

Why your periods might suddenly come back

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.

Causes Of Postmenopausal Bleeding

A variety of conditions can cause postmenopausal bleeding, including hormone therapy, infection, or the use of medications such as blood thinners.Some of the most common causes of postmenopausal bleeding are:

  • Cancer: Postmenopausal bleeding is a common symptom of endometrial cancer, but it also can be caused by cervical and vulvar cancer.
  • Endometrial atrophy: The tissue that lines the uterus can become very thin after menopause. As the lining thins, bleeding may occur.
  • Endometrial hyperplasia: Sometimes the lining of the uterus becomes thick, usually because of too much estrogen and too little progesterone. This is considered a precursor to endometrial cancer.
  • Fibroids: These growths develop in the uterine muscle tissue.
  • Polyps: These usually noncancerous growths can develop in the lining of the uterus.
  • Endometrial biopsy: A thin tube is inserted into the uterus and a tiny sample of the lining is removed. The sample is sent to the lab for examination.
  • Transvaginal ultrasound: An imaging device is inserted into the vagina to examine the pelvic organs.
  • Hysteroscopy: An instrument with a light and camera at the end, called a hysteroscope, is inserted into the vagina and through the cervix to examine the uterus.
  • Dilation and curettage : After enlarging the cervix, tissue is scraped from the lining of the uterus to be examined in a lab.

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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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:

1. Polyps

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.

It Might Be Worth Seeing A Specialist

Menopause, what does that mean for you?

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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Living The Best Years Of Your Life After Menopause

I want to soothe not dismiss the fears and concerns women have around what happens after menopause. I want to reassure women that this is their time to rediscover or reinvent themselves into exactly who they want to be. There are solutions to the issues that women are worried about. And when they begin to feel better, they can truly find out who they are inside.

Ive had patients who have done amazing things things they never would have considered when their kids were young or they were climbing a professional ladder. Let me tell you about two patients I had.

The first was an accountant at a large university. After menopause, she realized shed had enough. She resigned her position, and opened a knitting cafe that also sells organic coffee and tea. Of course, this took careful planning, meditation, and discussion with family and friends. But this is just one example that shows how endless the possibilities are.

Another patient nearing her 60th birthday decided she was tired of waiting to pursue a deep spiritual quest. She packed up her house, and spent a year-long trek through Europe with her husband, exploring her ancestral heritage.

Those are just two examples of what women can do when they embrace what happens after menopause and the freedom being postmenopausal can bring. Its time to realize that these really are your prime years. Now go out and live them!

Woman’s Day: Bleeding After Menopause

Womans Day recently interviewed Jessica Chan, MD, assistant professor of OB-GYN at Cedars-Sinai, about bleeding after menopause and why women should never ignore that symptom.

As the Womans Day story details, transitioning out of menopause comes with uncomfortable yet common side effects like hot flashes, mood swings and weight gain. But, if your body is suddenly experiencing period-like bleeding after menopause, its time to call your doctor’s office and make an appointment.

Menopause is considered official when a women does not have a menstrual period for one year. Typically, women enter menopause around 51 years of age, but it can range from as young as 40 to 58 years old. And before menopause begins, most women experience changes in their menstrual cycle.

During this transitionary time, your bleeding pattern may start to change due to some wild fluctuations in your hormone levels, Chan told Womans Day. At first, you usually have a shortening of the cycle. Then you may have a change in bleeding pattern. It can be lighter. Then theres a lengthening of the cycle. You may skip some periods before you stop altogether.

But If bleeding occurs after menopause, doctors need to rule out other conditions. Post-menopausal bleeding can be a symptom of endometerial cancer — also called uterine cancer. About 10% of postmenopausal bleeding experience is due to cancer, the Woman’s Day article states.

Read the complete story here.

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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.

What Triggers A Hot Flash

When do periods stop during menopause?

There are quite a few normal things in your daily life that could set off a hot flash. Some things to look out for include:

  • Caffeine.
  • Tight clothing.
  • Stress and anxiety.

Heat, including hot weather, can also trigger a hot flash. Be careful when working out in hot weather this could cause a hot flash.

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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.

What Is Menopause

Menopause is when your periods stop permanently and you can no longer get pregnant. 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.

After menopause your ovaries make very low levels of the hormones estrogen and progesterone. These low hormone levels can raise your risk for .

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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.

What Is Vaginal Bleeding


Vaginal bleeding can have a variety of causes. These include normal menstrual cycles and postmenopausal bleeding. Other causes of vaginal bleeding include:

  • trauma or assault
  • cervical cancer
  • infections, including urinary tract infections

If youre experiencing vaginal bleeding and are postmenopausal, your doctor will ask about the duration of the bleed, the amount of blood, any additional pain, or other symptoms that may be relevant.

Because abnormal vaginal bleeding can be a symptom of cervical, uterine, or endometrial cancer, you should get any abnormal bleeding evaluated by a doctor.

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What Happens At Menopause

Women are born with about a million eggs in each ovary. By puberty about 300,000 eggs remain, and by menopause there are no active eggs left.

On average, a woman in Australia will have 400-500 periods in her lifetime. From about 35-40 years of age, the number of eggs left in your ovaries decreases more quickly and you ovulate less regularly until your periods stop. Menopause means the end of ovulation.

After Your Period Stops

The permanent end of menstrual periods doesnt necessarily mean the end of bothersome menopause symptoms, however.

The symptoms typically associated with menopause, like hot flashes and mood swings, can occur for some time both before and after that point.

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.

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Symptoms Of The Menopause

Most women will experience menopausal symptoms. Some of these can be quite severe and have a significant impact on your everyday activities.

Common symptoms include:

Menopausal symptoms can begin months or even years before your periods stop and last around 4 years after your last period, although some women experience them for much longer.

Treating Postmenopause Symptoms Age 60+

Menopause & You: Bleeding After Menopause

Postmenopause treatments for symptom relief first revolve around the enactment of lifestyle adjustments alongside the use of alternative medicine for ideal effects.

  • Lifestyle adjustments. An improved diet rich in phytoestrogens and the three macronutrients – lean protein, complex carbs, and healthy fats – is key for postmenopausal nutrition. Also, aging women should aim for regular, weight-bearing exercise to encourage optimal muscle mass and weight as well as practicing wholesome habits for endocrine health.

  • Alternative medicine. Phytoestrogenic herbal supplements – such as black cohosh or red clover – as well as hormone-regulating supplements, like Macafem, are two well-renowned options for promoting hormonal health well into a woman’s postmenopausal years.

Postmenopause women should work with their doctors to develop a treatment plan that works best for them. If non-invasive measures do not provide relief, HRT may be recommended.

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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.

What Is Vaginal Bleeding After Menopause

Vaginal bleeding after menopause refers to any vaginal or uterine bleeding that occurs after a woman has gone through menopause. Menopause is defined as having experienced a period of 12 consecutive months without a menstrual period.

All vaginal bleeding after menopause is abnormal and should be evaluated by a health care practitioner. Vaginal bleeding after can result from gynecologic disorders, such as , fibroids or polyps, or from complications of hormone replacement therapy . Remember, not all bleeding in the genital or vaginal area originates in the female genital tract. For example, are often the unsuspected culprit.

The menstrual period is controlled by two hormones: estrogen and progesterone. After menopause, the production of these hormones declines substantially. Women who are on HRT may sometimes experience vaginal bleeding after menopause. Women with thyroid disorders may have hormonal imbalances that can result in vaginal bleeding after menopause.

Vaginal bleeding after menopause can occasionally be a sign of a serious or potentially life-threatening condition. Seek immediate medical care if you, or someone you are with, experience severe or uncontrolled bleeding accompanied by a fast heart rate. If you experience vaginal bleeding after menopause, seek prompt medical care. Your health care provider will determine the cause of your abnormal bleeding through a pelvic examination and other tests.

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Menopause Symptoms Can Feel Like Pms

Some women develop symptoms of Premenstrual Syndrome for the first time or have more acute levels of their normal PMS. These symptoms can be physical, psychological, or emotional. Most of us will have had some level of PMS during the second half of the monthly cycle over the years. Symptoms may have been getting stronger during your 30s and 40s, approaching menopause. Most common symptoms are irritability, aggression, tearfulness, mood swings, breast pain and fluid retention.

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How Do I Manage Bleeding After Menopause

Do I Have Menopause? How To Know Itâs Time For Change?

Your doctor will want to do some investigations to find the cause of your bleeding. Let them know if you have noticed any changes going to the toilet, whether you have pain, have lost weight or whether you are on HRT. You may also want to check whether you need a cervical screening test.

Some women may need to have an ultrasound, blood test or may be referred to a gynaecologist for further tests.

Treatment will depend on what is causing the bleeding. It may involve medicines to control problems with the lining of the uterus, or surgery to remove polyps.

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What Is Cancer Of The Uterus

The uterus is part of a woman’s reproductive system. It is the hollow, pear-shaped organ in the pelvis. The wall of the uterus has two layers of tissue. The inner layer or lining is the endometrium, and the outer layer is muscle tissue called the myometrium. The most common type of cancer of the uterus begins in the lining . Although the exact cause is unknown, increased levels of estrogen appear to have a role. Estrogen helps stimulate the buildup of the epithelial lining of the uterus.

What Causes Postmenopausal Bleeding

Bleeding can occur in postmenopausal women for several reasons. For example, women who take hormone replacement therapy may have vaginal bleeding for a few months after starting the hormones. Its also possible for a woman who thought she was in menopause to begin ovulating. If this occurs, bleeding may also occur.

There are a variety of other conditions that can cause postmenopausal bleeding.

Some common causes include: polyps, endometrial hyperplasia, and endometrial atrophy.

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Make Your Health A Priority

Women are known to focus on their families first and put their own health second. But you cant care for loved ones if youre not healthy yourself. Listen to your body. Alert your doctor to any changes or abnormal issues such as postmenopausal bleeding as soon as possible.Dont stop seeing your general gynecologist for an annual exam when you hit menopause. Just because your reproductive years have ended doesnt mean those body parts go away! Your cancer risk increases as you age, and your gynecologist can screen for the disease and help you manage any conditions caused by hormone changes.If youre experiencing postmenopausal bleeding or have any concerns about your gynecologic health, request an appointment online or by calling .


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