Postmenopausal Bleeding: Should I be Concerned?
If you experience postmenopausal bleeding – DO contact your doctor, and DON’T panic.
Whether in person or via telephone/video, your doctor will want to know when you went through menopause if you recently started any new medications, or if you have had any other changes in your health. A pelvic exam may be necessary to understand where the bleeding is occurring. A pelvic ultrasound or biopsy of the uterine lining may be performed as well. Procedures such as hysteroscopy and dilation and curettage (D&C) may be recommended to further assess the cells of the uterine lining.
What is the most common cause of vaginal bleeding after menopause?
Hormone changes can cause the vulvar and vaginal tissue to become frail and easily irritated, especially from friction during intercourse. Using lubrication and prescribed topical estrogen will often resolve bleeding that occurs from tissue thinning.
Polyps are non-cancerous growths in the uterus or cervix that can also cause vaginal bleeding. Sometimes the uterine lining can thicken and develop abnormal cells. These cells could lead to cancer. Cancer is the least likely cause of bleeding after menopause, however it is the most serious and should be managed as soon as possible.
Although the most common cause of vaginal bleeding after menopause is thinning of the vulvar and vaginal tissue, another cause can be pre-cancerous and cancerous conditions that may occur due to reduced estrogen levels postmenopause. Play it safe. If you are postmenopausal and experience vaginal bleeding, don’t delay and contact your doctor. Any and all postmenopau