What Does Unhealthy Discharge Look Like
People who have passed menopause may develop vaginal atrophy because of the drop in estrogen levels, which causes the walls of the vagina to become thinner.
Vaginal atrophy can sometimes cause vaginal discharge, especially after something, such as sexual contact, has irritated the vagina.
If discharge appears thin, watery, and yellow or gray, it might indicate a rise in alkalinity and an overgrowth of bacteria in the vagina. These bacteria can lead to infections and inflammation of the vagina.
People with bacterial infections of the vagina whitish, cheese-like vaginal discharge that has a foul, fish-like smell.
Yeast infections are another cause of unhealthy vaginal discharge, but they are
If a person is concerned about their vaginal discharge and whether or not it indicates a problem, they may benefit from speaking with a doctor.
Bad-smelling vaginal discharge that appears yellow or gray could indicate an infection.
A doctor may collect a sample to test the bacteria present in the discharge. Not all bacterial infections of the vagina will require treatment.
Healthcare providers can offer various treatments for vaginal infections and vaginal atrophy, which are two possible causes of vaginal discharge around menopause.
People can treat bacterial vaginosis with antibiotics. Treatments for yeast infections include antifungal creams or ointments.
Some treatment options for vaginal atrophy include:
Breast Cancer And Vva
Currently, more than 2 million women in the United States have a history of breast cancer. In breast cancer survivors, the estimated prevalence of vaginal atrophy, by symptom report, ranges from 23% to 61%. Prescribing even very low-dose localized estrogen treatments for these patients can cause concern because of the potential for systemic absorption.
Concern about the provision of any form of estrogen, either systemic or local, to breast cancer survivors contributes to the high incidence of VVA in women with breast cancer. Discontinuation of HT may trigger the onset of VVA symptoms.
Many surgical, endocrine, and chemotherapeutic treatments for breast cancer can cause or exacerbate VVA.,- Tamoxifen acts as an estrogen antagonist or agonist depending on the target organ and menopausal status. In premenopausal women, tamoxifen may cause VVA by acting as an estrogen antagonist and blocking the naturally high levels of endogenous estrogen. In postmenopausal women, however, it acts as an estrogen agonist on the urogenital tract.
Raloxifene does not appear to have an effect on the urogenital area in either premenopausal or postmenopausal women. Davies et al found no significant differences in incidence of VVA when comparing databases of postmenopausal women treated with raloxifene vs placebo.
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.
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Does It Matter How Far After Menopause You Are Say Six Months Post
Dr. Jessie: It doesnt. Post-menopausal bleeding can be an indicator for abnormal cells in the uterine lining at any point after menopause. While there are probably more benign conditions that can cause some vaginal bleeding the closer you are to menopause , if you have gone a full year without a period, you need to get in to see your doctor.
How To Manage Vaginal Odor After 50
While its normal for your vaginal smell to change as you age, there are ways to minimize the odor.;
Wash your outer genital area. Use a mild, unscented soap to wash the outside of your genital area. This should be done regularly during baths or showers.;
Avoid douching. Douching is unhealthy for your vaginas bacteria levels. A healthy vagina needs bacteria and yeast. Douching eliminates all good bacteria and upsets the balance.;
Take a probiotic. Probiotics help balance your bodys bacterial ecosystem. This can be a good start at managing your vaginal smell. However, you should talk to your doctor about other products that can help.
Estrogen therapy. Your bodys estrogen levels postmenopause will reduce. Taking estrogen will alleviate some of the symptoms of menopause.;
Estrogen Progesterone/Progestin Hormone Therapy . This is a combination therapy that uses estrogen and progesterone. Boosting hormone levels can balance out your vaginal health.;
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Why You Shouldnt Ignore Postmenopausal Bleeding
A woman is considered to be in menopause after 12 consecutive months without a period. You may experience irregular bleeding leading up to menopause, a stage known as perimenopause. But once youre in menopause, all vaginal bleeding should stop.There are benign causes of postmenopausal bleeding. For 10 percent of women, however, the cause is endometrial cancer.Early diagnosis offers the best chance to beat endometrial cancer. I urge women to treat postmenopausal bleeding as cancer until proven to be something else. I dont say this to scare people, but a healthy amount of worry in this situation is warranted.
Whats Considered Unusual Or Not Normal Vaginal Discharge
Now, what is not normal? If we’re looking at colour, then we’re looking at maybe a mucus that’s tinged with green, or grey, or a very yellowy thick colour, or even a browny colour.
The consistency does tend to change, so it would be maybe sort of sticky, it may be very thick. You might find that it sticks to your underwear a lot more than the normal mucus do. Volume-wise, it normally tends to be continuous, so you would end up producing a lot of mucus sort of consistently, rather than being different at different times of the month.
The smell would tend to be very different, too. And I know, you know, women talk about a sort of fishy smell, it could be a metallic smell. It would be a strong smell and probably quite unpleasant even to ourselves.
And another way of telling is sometimes women will say that if something not quite right is going on mucus-wise, that they can smell it themselves even when they’ve got their clothes on, and that can sometimes be a little bit of a clue that something isn’t quite right.
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Vaginal Discharge During Pregnancy
Almost all women have more vaginal discharge in pregnancy 2). This is quite normal and happens for a few reasons. During pregnancy the cervix and vaginal walls get softer and discharge increases to help prevent any infections traveling up from the vagina to the womb.
Towards the end of pregnancy, the amount of vaginal discharge increases and can be confused with urine.
In the last week or so of pregnancy, your discharge may contain streaks of thick mucus and some blood. This is called a show and happens when the mucus that has been present in your cervix during pregnancy comes away. Its a sign that the body is starting to prepare for birth, and you may have a few small shows in the days before you go into labor.
Increased vaginal discharge is a normal part of pregnancy, but its important to keep an eye on it and tell your doctor or midwife if it changes in any way.
When to see your midwife or doctor
- Tell your midwife or doctor if:
- the vaginal discharge is colored especially if it is blood colored
- the;vaginal discharge smells strange
- you feel itchy or sore.
Healthy vaginal discharge should be clear and white and should not smell unpleasant. If the vaginal discharge is colored or smells strange, or if you feel itchy or sore, you may have a vaginal infection. If you suspect a bleed from the vagina see medical advice urgently.
The most common infection is thrush, which your doctor can treat easily. You should not use some thrush medicines in pregnancy.
Can Fibroids Cause Bleeding After Menopause
Dr. Jessie: Yes, although this is unusual. Most fibroids shrink after menopause and become less symptomatic than they were prior to menopause.
Fibroids that are pushing in to the cavity of the uterus can certainly cause post-menopausal bleeding, but I usually see this in patients who are in their early 50s; they think they are not menopausal because they continue to bleed, but the bleeding is actually coming from the fibroid and not a hormonal cycle.
I dont usually see bleeding from fibroids starting up when a woman is already well in to menopause. If you know you have fibroids and are having bleeding after menopause, I would definitely recommend a visit to your doctor rather than writing the symptoms off as coming from the fibroids. Very rarely, women can develop a fibroid-related uterine cancer called a sarcoma.
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Post Menopausal Brown Discharge
Hello everyone. I am 2+ years post menopausal and have had some slight brown discharge/staining and a little bit of cramping. U/A showed my uterus too thick at 9mm with increased vascularity and heterogeneity. Gyno has immediately referred me to Gyn Oncologist – I have a consultation in a few days then likely a D&C. I’m terrified. Any others with the same experience?
4 likes, 92 replies
Posted 4 years ago
Hi Krayne, yes, lots of ladies here have had the same. I had a biopsy under GA about two years ago, very quick easy procedure, rapid recovery, was back at work the next day. All was normal. Had a second episode not so long ago, almost like a period that didnt happen. Agreed with GP just to keep an eye on it. Please try not to worry. I know thats easy to say. I was told my thickened uterus was normal for my stage of menopause. The spotting of blood was like a period. I think we go through so many changes, we almost lose control and our bodies dont behave or respond as before. Its like little surges of hormones causing the body to do funny things. The day I was in hospital, there were 6 of us having the same thing. One lady had had a sudden onset of very heavy bleeding, and I dont think the news was good. The rest of us went on our merry way thinking how lucky we were. Hope you can have it done soon and be a peace. Take care. Xx
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.
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Vaginal Discharge After Menopause
The vagina tends to lose its moisture after the menopause. This is caused by the lower oestrogen levels. You will still produce small amounts of discharge after menopause though.
However, if you are experiencing yellow-white discharge, it is possible you have an infection. Infection after menopause is common, as the vagina doesnt produce so much anti-bacterial mucus.
If you are concerned about your vaginal discharge please consult your doctor.
Can Vaginal Atrophy Get Worse
Be sure to address your symptoms quickly with your healthcare provider. The sooner you get treatment, the less likely it is that your vaginal atrophy will worsen. For example, the longer you go without estrogen, the dryer the vagina will become. Without treatment, yes, your vaginal atrophy may get worse. Occasionally, atrophy can become so severe that it can significantly narrow the vaginal opening. This may make it harder to treat the atrophy if treatment is initiated too late.
Is It Normal For Discharge To Change During Menopause
Now, mucus changing in the menopause is normal, so you may find things changed compared to what they were whilst you were even in the peri-menopause or the menopause itself. The things that can affect it, first of all, definitely the hormonal changes.
Your oestrogen can trigger the cervix to produce this vaginal mucus. So if your oestrogen starts to fall, then the production of mucus will decrease in the menopause just generally, so you might find that you start to get less and less mucus, and this can then sort of trigger vaginal dryness and other issues associated with falling oestrogen.
When To Seek Help
Vaginal discharge is one of the most common reasons women see a gynecologist, amounting to about 10 million office visits per year. Clear, watery discharge, however, is rarely a sign of a problem.
There are several conditions, including infections and STIs, that can cause abnormal discharge. Discharge may be a sign of a problem if there are noticeable changes in color, odor, consistency, or amount.
If youre concerned about your vaginal discharge, you should make an appointment with your primary care doctor, gynecologist, or OB-GYN. If you dont already have an OB-GYN, our Healthline FindCare tool can help you connect to physicians in your area. You can also seek treatment at a sexual health clinic, such as Planned Parenthood.
See your doctor if you have any of these signs of abnormal discharge:
- yellow, gray, or green color
- white and chunky discharge, like cottage cheese
- a strong, fishy, or sour odor
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Key Points About Vaginal Discharge
A vaginal discharge may be accompanied by itching, redness, burning, and soreness.
Likely causes depend on age.
Usually, doctors examine a sample of the discharge to check for microorganisms that can cause infections.
Treatment depends on the cause, but applying cold packs or sitting in a warm sitz bath can help relieve symptoms.
Any discharge that occurs after menopause requires prompt evaluation by a doctor.
What Causes Vaginal Atrophy
During menopause, your body makes less estrogen. Without estrogen, the lining of the vagina can become thinner and less stretchy. The vaginal canal can also narrow and shorten. Less estrogen lowers the amount of normal vaginal fluids. It also changes the acid balance of the vagina. Women who have just had a baby and are breastfeeding also have a drop in estrogen. These symptoms also occur in women who have had their ovaries removed or are taking certain medications .
The first sign of vaginal atrophy is usually a decrease in vaginal lubrication.
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Recognizing Normal And Abnormal Discharge
Normal vaginal discharge is usually clear or milky and may have a subtle scent that is not unpleasant or foul smelling. Changes that may signal a problem include an increase in the amount of discharge, a change in the color, smell or texture of the discharge. You may also experience other symptoms with a change in discharge, such as; irritation, itchiness or burning in or around your vagina. The combination of these factors can help reveal what may be going on in your body.
It Might Be Worth Seeing A Specialist
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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Menopause Discharge: What You Need To Know
It is smart to take some time to learn about the five types of menopause discharge, what is normal and when to see a doctor.
Perimenopause is a time of ongoing changes for most women. You may not know what to expect or what is normal. Perimenopause may last for several months or for a year or more. During this time, your vaginal discharge may begin to change as well.
Rather than letting this cause you extra worry or stress, it can be smart to take some time to learn about the five types of menopause discharge, what is normal and when to see a doctor.
What Percentage Of Postmenopausal Bleeding Is Cancer
Most cases of postmenopausal bleeding can be attributed to conditions that are not usually serious and can be treated easily.Bleeding, for instance, might be the result of polyps or genitourinary syndrome of menopause , both of which are non-cancerous.However, 10 per cent of postmenopausal bleeding cases may be symptomatic of endometrial or cervical cancer, so it is vitally important to get it checked by a doctor.5 Research suggests that around 90 per cent of women with endometrial cancer experience vaginal bleeding .By assessing bleeding, medical professionals have a greater window to catch cancer early, when it is most treatable.
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Should I See A Doctor
Bleeding after menopause isnt normal, so its best to have it checked out. An exception might be if youre on HRT and have been advised that its a potential side effect. Still, if spotting and bleeding are heavier and longer lasting than you expected, see your doctor.
Depending on other symptoms or known health conditions you have, your doctor may:
- ask about your medical history and current medications
- do a physical examination, including a pelvic exam
- take a swab to check for infections
- perform a Pap test to check for cervical cancer cells.
- take a blood sample
- do a pelvic ultrasound or hysteroscopy to get images of your cervix, uterus, and ovaries
- take a tissue sample, also known as a biopsy, to check for cancerous cells
- perform a dilation and curettage to scrape the inner walls of your uterus so that tissue samples can be checked for cancer
Some of these tests can be done right away in your doctors office. Others may be scheduled as an outpatient procedure at a later date.
Spotting can be treated, but it depends on the cause.