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, and if you have had any other changes in your health. Then a pelvic exam may be necessary to understand where the bleeding is occurring, and pelvic ultrasound or biopsy of the uterine lining may be performed. Procedures such as hysteroscopy and dilation and curettage (D&C) may also be recommended to assess the cells of the uterine lining.
Postmenopausal bleeding can occur for many reasons, which is why it is important to get checked out. 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.
The most common cause of vaginal bleeding after menopause is from thinning of the vulvar and vaginal tissue. However pre-cancerous and cancerous conditions can occur due to reduced estrogen levels post-menopause. Play it safe. If you are post-menopausal and experience vaginal bleeding, don’t delay and contact your doctor.