Should You Call Your Doctor About Post-Menopausal Bleeding?

Should You Call Your Doctor About Post-Menopausal Bleeding?

Most cases involve noncancerous conditions, but they should still be monitored by a professional.

Menopause can be a time filled with questions. Hot flashes are normal, but how frequent and just how hot? Can you expect to be irritable all the time? And what about bleeding? Your periods are supposed to be over, are they not?

Perimenopause is the time before you quit vaginal bleeding altogether, and you’ll likely have irregular periods during this time. Menopause is the point at which you cease to have your period altogether. Many women bleed following menopause. In fact, for some it stops and then can reoccur up to a year later.

It should be cause for some concern. Worrying about this is not out of place. Postmenopausal bleeding should be checked with your doctor, as it can be a symptom of endometrial cancer, which is cancer of the uterine lining.

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But for many women, a study published in JAMA Internal Medicine has found, bleeding at this time in life is associated with noncancerous conditions such as vainal atrophy, uterine fibroids or polyps. The Mayo Clinic names the following noncancerous conditions as causes for postmenopausal bleeding:

Thinning of the tissues lining the uterus (endometrial atrophy) or vagina (vaginal atrophy)
Uterine fibroids
Uterine polyps
Infection of the uterine lining (endometritis)
Medications such as hormone therapy and tamoxifen
Pelvic trauma
Bleeding from the urinary tract or rectum
Excessive overgrowth of the cells that make up the lining of the uterus (endometrial hyperplasia)

If you’re bleeding when you feel you shouldn’t be, have it checked by a professional. Always see your doctor to rule out more serious conditions.

An estimated 4 to 11% of women experience vaginal bleeding following menopause.

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