Most women experience menopause in their early 50s. It is a natural part of aging and is reached when you have gone through 12 consecutive full months without your period.
Postmenopausal bleeding is bleeding that occurs anytime after menopause. It is unusual and might pose a reason for concern, even if the bleeding is very light. Postmenopausal bleeding may be caused by hormone replacement therapy, fibroids, polyps, trauma, thyroid abnormalities, or an infection in the uterine lining. Even spotting can be an indication of a health issue like hyperplasia, which is an increase in abnormal cells, or cancer.
Consult with a doctor for any type of postmenopausal bleeding. Although it may seem like nothing at first, conditions can arise over time. For instance, some polyps may eventually become cancerous. Be prepared to share important details with your doctor, such as the duration of the bleeding, the amount of blood, and whether or not you have been experiencing any pain. It may be a good idea to make notes before your doctor’s appointment. To help obtain a diagnosis, you may undergo a physical exam, ultrasound, endometrial biopsy, or have blood drawn at your appointment.
Treatment depends on the amount of bleeding and other symptoms. Other symptoms postmenopausal women may experience include insomnia, lack of sex drive, weight gain, and vaginal dryness. If cancer isn’t a concern, your doctor may recommend treatment in the form of medication. Estrogen, which comes in the form of a cream, ring, or insertable tablet, can help reduce bleeding from vaginal dryness or thinning. Progestin is a hormone replacement therapy that can help reduce bleeding and tissue overgrowth. There are also antibiotics that can treat many cervix or uterus infections. There may be situations when bleeding cannot be controlled by medication and surgery is necessary. In this case, the procedure will most likely be a small surgery to remove polyps or a hysterectomy.
It’s not unusual to have irregular spotting or bleeding leading up to menopause. However, if there is any bleeding after menopause, please consult with a doctor. It may just be an infection that can be treated with a prescription, but in some cases, it could be a sign of something more serious.
For any questions, concerns or to set up your appointment with one of our experts today, call us at 307-634-5216.