What is menopause?
Menopause is usually diagnosed in women over 45. You’ve officially reached menopause when you haven’t had a period in 12 months. In the years leading up to menopause, your estrogen and progesterone levels start to drop. This can cause numerous changes to your vagina, cervix, and uterus. Bleeding or spotting after this point is called postmenopausal bleeding (PMB). Postmenopausal bleeding needs to be checked out by a doctor. Mostly the cause will be something very simple and treatable but occasionally it is a sign of more serious disease.
What causes bleeding after menopause?
There can be several causes of postmenopausal bleeding. The most common causes are:
- inflammation and thinning of the lining of your vagina (called atrophic vaginitis) or womb lining (endometrial atrophy) – caused by lower estrogen levels
- growths in the cervix or uterus (called polyps) which are usually not cancerous
- thickened endometrium (called endometrial hyperplasia) often because of hormone replacement therapy (HRT), excess estrogen without the hormone progesterone to offset it or being overweight and can lead to womb cancer.
- abnormalities in the cervix or uterus
Other potential, but less likely, causes of postmenopausal bleeding include:
- clotting problems
- infection of the uterine lining, which is known as endometritis
- trauma to the pelvis
- bleeding from the urinary tract
- thyroid disorders
In about 90% of cases, a particular cause for bleeding after menopause will not be found. If there is a serious problem it will be identified through investigations. However, about 10 per cent of the time, post-menopausal bleeding is linked to cancer of the cervix or uterus and so it is very important to have it investigated.
Treatment for postmenopausal bleeding
Treatment depends on what’s causing your bleeding.
Removal of polyps, estrogen cream or pessaries, hormone medicine & etc.