Are Women Who Arent Experiencing Menopausal Symptoms Still Fertile
No matter when you experience natural menopause, your chances of getting pregnant after the age of 40 are low, says Faubion. But you can still become pregnant as youre transitioning to menopause, and you still need to use birth control if you don’t want to conceive, she adds.
Streicher confirms, saying, Fertility and menopause are not the same thing there are plenty of women who are pumping out estrogen and menstruating and are not fertile. If youre sexually active, its important to consult with your doctor before making any decisions about birth control to avoid unwanted pregnancy.
On the other hand, dont assume that just because you are still menstruating that you can get pregnant. Women who are concerned that they may have trouble conceiving or think they may experience menopause early and still want children should discuss options such as egg freezing with their doctor, says Streicher.
Can Stress Cause Postmenopausal Bleeding
As we women age, our bodies go through some drastic and remarkable changes. After the childbearing years, the 40s and the 50s, the female body begins to change away from procreation as the production of reproductive hormones naturally begins to decline. This phase of a womans life is called menopause and is signaled by 12 continuous months since the last menstrual cycle.
The average age in the United States for women to start menopause is around 51 years of age. There are three phases of menopause that women typically go through and they are perimenopause , menopause, and then postmenopause .
Many questions surround this phase of female life, and for the purpose of this article, we are going to look at the postmenopause phase and a common question that arises often.
What Causes Perimenopause Spotting
Spotting refers to any light bleeding outside your usual menstrual window. As the name suggests, you may find small spots of red or pink blood in your underwear or when you go to the loo. Spotting doesnt usually require sanitary protection.Generally speaking, spotting is the result of your bodys changeable hormones and endometrium build-up. Many perimenopausal women spot just before their period starts or as it ends. On occasion, you may also spot in the middle of your cycle when you ovulate.Although some spotting is normal, if youre regularly spotting every fortnight or, in some cases, every day of the month you may want to speak to your GP.
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How K Health Can Help
If youre worried about the color of your discharge, talk to a doctor. Did you know you can get affordable primary care with the K Health app? , explore conditions and treatments, and if needed text with a doctor in minutes. K Healths AI-powered app is HIPAA compliant and based on 20 years of clinical data.
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.
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Treatment Measures For Bleeding After Menopause
Even if the problem of cancer is successfully averted, you should not forget that you lose blood. Its not normal if its severe and frequent. Fortunately, there are many measures to successfully cure this problem. Consider the next possibilities:
- Estrogen administration. You may pass a course of treatment with estrogen pills. Besides, your doctor may appoint vaginal rings or creams.
- Progestin therapy. This measure is taken if you suffer from the thickening of the uterus tissues. Its carried out in the laboratory.
- Hysteroscopy. This one is applied to remove polyps. Besides, it may be applied to handle the problem of the thickening of the uterus tissues.
- Surgery. At times, only surgery can help to remove polyps or the thickened tissues. This process isnt too painful and complex.
- Preparations. In case your blood loss is caused by the ailments transmitted via sex, youll be prescribed one or several preparations. They will be prescribed according to the severity of your problem and your natural tolerance.
Is bleeding after menopause always cancer? Its a good question, which must be asked by every woman who goes through menopause. Always consult certified specialists to receive the right and quick answer. Be cautious and attentive to avoid possible problems to be healthy and live your life to the fullest. If the disease is diagnosed, youll have to pass a hysterectomy. At times, other measures are undertaken .
Should You See A Doctor If Youre Bleeding After Menopause
Yes, if a woman has an episode of postmenopausal bleeding, she should see her doctor for an assessment. This includes a pelvic gynaecological examination, a vaginal ultrasound and a hysteroscopy if indicated. Even if there is only spotting or brown dischargeâ or she is not sure and is feeling otherwise well â a doctorâs review is needed.
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What Causes Spotting Between Periods
Menstrual irregularities, including spotting between periods, are generally caused by natural hormonal fluctuations as a woman nears the end of her fertile years.
During premenopause, her levels of estrogen fluctuate in a predictable fashion alongside progesterone. These two principal reproductive hormones regulate the menstrual cycle and reproduction from puberty until menopause.
However, as she approaches menopause, her estrogen begins to decline more drastically as ovarian hormonal production comes to a halt, oftentimes causing bleeding between period. These hormonal fluctuations occur in an erratic manner until hormone levels reach a consistently low level with postmenopause.
Perimenopause And Irregular Bleeding
During perimenopause a womans menstrual cycles may be shorter or longer, and the flow may vary from light to heavy. As ovarian function is declining, ovulation may not occur. The ongoing release of estrogen may cause the uterine lining to thicken while the production of progesterone slows down. As a result, the lining continues to build up and may cause irregular bleeding. The thickening of the endometrium may represent a benign change, such as a polyp, or hyperplasia. Most hyperplasia is not a problem but some forms can be precancerous. The bleeding can also represent endometrial . Fortunately, this is the least likely possibility.
Uterine polyps and uterine fibroids, both of which are benign, may also cause changes in bleeding pattern. Polyps are benign growths composed of the endometrial glands and contain no muscle tissue. A fibroid is a fibromuscular type of tumor that often grows within the muscular layer of the uterus. If the fibroid juts out into the endometrial cavity, abnormal bleeding can result. Both fibroids and polyps can cause extra bleeding due to their location within the interior of the uterus.
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Is My Heavy Bleeding Just A Normal Part Of Menopause
The most common cause of heavy periods during menopause is hormonal imbalance. During the beginning of a normal menstrual cycle, a hormone called follicle stimulating hormone rises which stimulates follicles to mature in the ovaries. Many follicles are stimulated during a cycle and these follicles produce oestrogen which is required to thicken the lining of the womb . Only one follicle will be mature enough to be ovulated.
As there is a decline in the number of follicles at perimenopause, the body tries to recruit as many as possible at the beginning of the cycle. It does this by increasing FSH levels. This part of the cycle can take longer than usual as it becomes harder to recruit eggs. There is an increase in oestrogen from the many follicles stimulated. These higher levels of oestrogen act on the endometrium during the long stimulation period, making it thicker and resulting in heavy periods.2
Ovulation is required for a period to occur. The progesterone produced by the ovulated egg, and its subsequent withdrawal, is what causes a period. During the perimenopause, anovulation becomes more frequent. Thus there is still oestrogen production by the follicles causing the endometrium to thicken, but no progesterone. The endometrium only continues to thicken. Eventually the lining outgrows its blood supply and breaks down, resulting in shedding which women see as irregular and/or prolonged and/or heavy bleeding.
How To Identify When Brown Discharge Is An Alarm For Concern
If during menopause you are experiencing brown discharge in combination with pain, watery or yellowish discharge, depression, vaginal dryness, painful intercourse, frequent urination, dysfunctional uterine bleeding, burning, itching, rash, hot to touch, mouth ulcers and/or loss of appetite, it means you need to visit your doctor for further testing.
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Can I Wait And See If It Happens Again Before Going To My Doc
Dr. Jessie: Please dont wait! It is very likely that your bleeding is nothing to worry about and just a nuisance, but occasionally it can be a sign of something more serious. It is always worth a check-up!
If youre experiencing post-menopausal bleeding, please follow Dr. Jessies advice and schedule an appointment right away. If you dont have an ob/gyn, you book a virtual appointment at Gennev Telehealth. If youve dealt with PMB, what caused it and how did you deal with it? Please share with the community: leave us a comment below, or talk to us on our or in Midlife & Menopause Solutions, our closed Facebook group.
Heavy Or Prolonged Bleeding In Menopause Dangerous Or Normal
Actually, it CAN be normal. Heavy and/or prolonged bleeding during perimenopause can be a normal variant. I had my period every other week for a little over a year. Because prolonged bleeding can be a symptom of more serious conditions, it is important to be checked out by a physician. A pelvic ultrasound and/or endometrial biopsy can rule out pathology. Even if no serious condition is found, you must be monitored for anemia. Regular red blood cell and hemoglobin counts are recommended. I simply increased my intake of red meat and took iron supplements and was never anemic.
Even in the absence of disease, if bleeding persists, your MD may recommend a simple D & C or even hysterectomy. Id get a second opinion or even a third. Remember that NO surgical procedure is simple each has risks, including that of general anesthesia. A good rule of thumb is to always try the least interventional remedy first.
It took me three tries to find an enlightened gynecologist who felt that heavy bleeding was a normal variant. After ultrasounds and an endometrial biopsy returned as normal with menopausal thickening of uterine lining), together we monitored me for anemia and eventually I began skipping periods as I continued on my menopause journey.
Hope this helps let me know if you have further questions. For more info check out our blogsite at www.menopausegoddessblog.org. Good luck. Lynette Sheppard RN.
This content was originally published here.
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Vaginal Or Endometrial Atrophy
As hormone levels decrease during menopause, the vaginal lining or the uterine cells may become thinner. This thinning is called vaginal atrophy or endometrial atrophy.
Vaginal atrophy often causes the vagina to become drier, less flexible, and more susceptible to inflammation or infection than before menopause. Vaginal atrophy may lead to:
- brown spotting
- bleeding after sex
The vagina may feel continuously uncomfortable, so a woman with these symptoms should speak to a doctor. A doctor may recommend hormone replacement therapy, as well as the use of water-soluble lubricants during sexual activity.
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’.
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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.
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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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.
What Is The Most Common Cause Of Post
Bleeding after menopause can be caused by inflammation and thinning of the vaginal skin, or thinning of the lining of the womb. Low oestrogen levels after menopause can result in atrophic changes of the lower genital tract and endometrium . Polyps of the womb or the neck of the womb can also cause vaginal bleeding.
Thickening of the lining of the womb is another cause of bleeding. This can be a consequence of high oestrogen levels secondary to HRT, being overweight or other causes.
Even if she only has brown discharge and is feeling otherwise well, a doctors opinion is needed
Thickening of the lining of the womb is called endometrial hyperplasia and could in some cases progress to cancer. Cancer of the lining of the womb or other gynaecological cancer can present with postmenopausal bleeding.
Depending on the cause of bleeding, there are different treatment options available:
- The management of cervical polyps involves removal of the polyps and histopathological examination .
- Atrophy of the vaginal skin, or endometrium, is usually treated by vaginal oestrogen cream or pessaries.
- Endometrial hyperplasia requires biopsy first and â according to the type of hyperplasia â treatment can vary from doing nothing, to medical treatment , or a hysterectomy for the removal of the womb, ovaries and cervix.
- In cases of cancer, specialist care usually involves surgery, such as a hysterectomy with additional treatments depending on the stage of the disease.
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How To Manage Bleeding During Perimenopause
Again, if youre bleeding during menopause, youll want to see your doctor, but for women who experience bleeding or spotting during menopause, there are ways to manage.
Pads and/or tampons may still be needed, especially for an unusually heavy menstrual cycle, Dr. Hoppe says.
There is also a procedure called endometrial ablation, which can help with heavy bleeding in perimenopausal women, she adds.
For some postmenopausal women on hormone therapy, sometimes a progestin-IUD can be used to help bleeding, Dr. Hoppe says, but only after a complete workup has been done to rule out any abnormalities.
Prolonged And Heavy Bleeding During Menopause Is Common
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ANN ARBORWomen going through menopause most likely think of it as the time for an end to predictable monthly periods. Researchers at the University of Michigan say its normal, however, for the majority of them to experience an increase in the amount and duration of bleeding episodes, which may occur at various times throughout the menopausal transition.
The researchers from the U-M School of Public Health and U-M Health System offer the first long-term study of bleeding patterns in women of multiple race/ethnicities who were going through menopause. They say the results could impact patient care and alleviate undue concern about what to expect during this life stage that can last anywhere from 2-to-10 years.
For most women in their 30s, menstrual periods are highly predictable. With the onset of the menopausal transition in their 40s, womens menstrual periods can change dramatically. These dramatic changes can be disconcerting and often provoke questions about whether something is wrong, said Sioban Harlow, U-M professor of epidemiology.
Women need more descriptive information about the bleeding changes they can expect. We need clear guidance to help women understand what changes in bleeding patterns do and do not require medical attention.
The study, Menstruation and the Menopausal Transition, is reported in the current issue of BJOG: An International Journal of Obstetrics and Gynaecology.
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Is It Normal To Have Longer And Heavier Periods During Perimenopause
Excessive bleeding and long periods are fairly common during perimenopause. Many women experience an increased flow and extended perimenopause periods before entering menopause.
In fact, one in four women say that their periods are heavy enough to interfere with day-to-day activities, such as going to work or attending social events. According to University of Michigan researchers, 91 percent of women aged 4252 surveyed reported heavy menstruation for 10 or more days during their transition to menopause. This phenomenon occurred one to three times within a three-year period.
There are various other health factors which come into play, including body mass index , use of hormones, and the presence of uterine fibroids.