Abnormal Uterine Bleeding during Menopause
Vaginal bleeding following menopause can occur for a few different reasons, all of which need to be discussed with your physician. Bleeding during menopause is the most common symptom of endometrial cancer, but there are other, non-cancerous reasons for the bleeding, too.
During natural menopause, the ovaries stop producing their normal cycle of hormones. As a result, the endometrium of the uterus no longer goes through its monthly cycle of thickening and shedding (the monthly period).
Occasionally, changing hormone levels and other health issues can negatively affect the endometrium, which can cause menopausal bleeding. One such condition, endometrial atrophy, occurs when estrogen levels are too low and the endometrium becomes too thin. If the endometrium thickens, possibly from too much estrogen but not enough progesterone, endometrial hyperplasia can occur. This condition can also lead to endometrial cancer, which can be treated effectively if caught early. A polyp or fibroid in your uterus could also cause some bleeding. During menopause, low estrogen levels can also cause dry, thinning vaginal tissues, which could create some bleeding concerns. In addition, some infections involving the cervix or entire uterus can cause bleeding during menopause.
While you should not panic over your bleeding issues during menopause, you do need to see your physician as soon as possible. The sooner you can undergo testing to determine the cause of the bleeding, the sooner it can be treated. Post-menopausal bleeding should never be ignored, and you should not hesitate to seek a second opinion about what is causing yours. As long as it is determined that there is not a cancerous concern, you may be able to avoid a hysterectomy as well.
WHAT IS MENOPAUSE?
Menopause refers to the time when a woman has stopped monthly menstruation, usually around the age of 50. A woman is considered in natural menopause when she has not had monthly bleeding for 12 months. Bleeding during natural menopause is NOT normal and requires medical attention.
Perimenopause refers to the years leading to menopause when a woman’s hormone levels are changing. It may last from two to ten years, and during this time her cycles may change so that she experiences abnormal bleeding.
This content was written by staff of HysterSisters.com by non-medical professionals based on discussions, resources and input from other patients for the purpose of patient-to-patient support. Read this article here: Abnormal bleeding during menopause.