Postmenopausal Bleeding

>> Tuesday, July 9, 2013

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Lately, we have been discussing menopause and its associated hormone imbalance, vaginal atrophy, vaginal dryness and irregular bleeding and spotting. This can be really upsetting, as it ruins clothing/panties because it comes when we don't expect it. For those of you who have not had a period for a while, it can be scary, because there is so much information about abnormal or post-menopausal bleeding and cancer.

If you have been in menopause for a while and gone without a period for more than one year, you should not experience any menstrual bleeding. Even a little spotting is not normal after menopause unless you are on hormones.

Hormones can cause the lining of the uterus to thicken, and this can occasionally cause a small period and spotting. No matter what the cause of bleeding, it is important to see your doctor and have it checked out.

There are several health conditions that can cause postmenopausal bleeding, like polyps, which are growths in the uterus that are usually noncancerous. They can develop in the uterus or the cervical canal.

Endometrial atrophy (thinning of the endometrium) is when the endometrium, the tissue that lines the uterus, becomes very thin after menopause because of diminished estrogen levels. This can cause unexpected bleeding.

The opposite is Endometrial hyperplasia, which is a condition where the lining of the uterus becomes thickened - usually as a result of hormone imbalance.

Other bleeding causes besides hormone therapy can be things like uterine or cervical infections or use of certain medications, such as blood thinners.

Transvaginal ultrasound, endometrial biopsy, hysteroscopy, or a D&C (dilation and curette) can be done to help aid diagnosis.

Treatment depends on what is causing the bleeding. The most important thing is, whether you are very young or nearing menopause or even in menopause, find out what is happening and go talk to your doctor about it.

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