Bleeding after menopause is not at all uncommon. It can be a cause for
concern, however. Understanding menopause and the potential causes of bleeding
after menopause can be very useful to help a woman decide if medical attention
is required to get at the root of the problem. In most cases, if bleeding does
incidence, it is advised to make the condition known to a doctor.
In general, bleeding after menopause is spotting or full bleeding that takes
place at least six months after the last full menstrual cycle. The sudden
reappearance of blood can be rather alarming, but it can have many benign
causes. Some potential causes for it can be serious, which is why medical advice
is generally recommended.
Menopause itself is a perfectly normal phase of life that is characterized by
the cessation of menstrual bleeding all together. The period of time leading up
to that cessation is characterized by gradual changes in the cycle. Some will
experience periods that occur more frequently, but are lighter and shorter in
their duration. Other women will find they miss cycles completely for a month or
two at a time. The marker for true menopause is typically seen as missing six
consecutive cycles in a row.
When bleeding takes place after the full six-month cycle has passed, it is
considered bleeding after menopause and is known medically as post-menopausal
bleeding. The causes for it are many and include:
· Hormone replacement therapy – This is one of the most common causes of
bleeding after menopause. Women who undergo hormone replacement therapy develop
bleeding simply because the uterus is reacting to the estrogen and is promoting
the thickening and shedding of the uterine lining. Basically, the body starts
mocking a normal menstrual cycle. This is not at all unexpected with HRT.
· Lack of estrogen – When there is a large lack of estrogen in the system, the
uterus also reacts. Its lining may atrophy and cause the blood vessels to
become weak and fragile. This can lead to the spontaneous breaking of vessels
and spot bleeding after menopause.
· Fibroids and polyps – These are non-cancerous growths that can develop in the
uterus. They can cause bleeding after menopause in the light to heavy forms.
They are sometimes associated with pain and discomfort, as well.
· Hyperplasias – This is an overgrowth of the uterine lining. It can cause
bleeding, as well.
· Cancer – Uterine cancer is the real cause for concern. It can be the cause of
bleeding after menopause and it is serious. This is the main reason why it is
advised that women seek out medical attention if bleeding after menopause takes
Women who experience bleeding after menopause may be asked to undergo tests to
determine the nature of the bleeding. The types of tests will likely range based
on suspected cause. They may include a D & C, a hysteroscopy, blood work and
more. Many doctors will seek to rule out cancer first and then work to
Eliminate the other potential causes of bleeding after menopause.
Treatment of bleeding after menopause will depend on the actual cause. If HRT is
in the picture, an alteration of the medications or dosing might take place.
Polyps or fibroids may need to be removed during a special procedure.
If cancer is present, the options will range based on the severity. Many doctors
Prefer doing a full hysterectomy if cancer is found in the uterus. This may be
followed up with chemotherapy or other treatments.
Bleeding after menopause is not at all uncommon, but some of the causes of it are
reason for concern. Women are recommended to bring the issue to the attention of
their doctors just to be on the safe side.