Post menopausal bleeding is the kind of bleeding that a woman experiences when more than six to twelve months have elapsed after the establishment of her menopause.
This is different from irregular or infrequent periods which lead up to menopause; a stage of irregularity and the process of ending the cycle of ovulation that typically lasts between one and two years before menopause is established and a woman is finally menopausal.
Many women do experience postmenopausal bleeding, particularly those who are taking Hormone replacement Therapy, (HRT) however this is not something that should be ignored as it could be the symptom of an underlying disorder or medical condition.
In fact, any post menopausal bleeding that a woman experiences should be reported to a medical practitioner in order to rule out any potentially serious complication, which may include conditions such as cancer of the endometrium, cervix or ovary, endometrial polyps, cervical lesions, uterine tumors, other tumors in other parts of the body that may be secreting estrogen.
The reason that HRT is one of the factors that causes post menopausal bleeding is that though it eases the symptoms of menopause it also causes the endometrial lining of the uterus to develop and consequently be shed in process rather like menstruation.
Though this is a fairly regular occurrence with women on HRT, other underlying reasons of post menopausal bleeding are far more cause for concern:
- According to certain estimates, up to 10% of women who experience post menopausal bleeding may actually have endometrial cancer or its precursor
- Polyps and fibroids could be reasons for post menopausal bleeding.
- Hyperplasia or the over development of endometrial tissue is another cause.
- Certain medications could be causing the bleeding so that angle should be considered, particularly if a woman is taking blood thinning medication.
- Sometimes emotional stress or stain could also cause post menopausal bleeding
- Sudden weight gain or conversely drastic weight loss is also a reason why a woman may experience post menopausal bleeding
The ways to treat post menopausal bleeding would depend on the underlying reason for the bleeding. If it is HRT that is causing the bleeding, the dosage may be reduced or not, depending upon the prognosis of the particular case. In the even of a cancerous growth, a hysterectomy may be indicated and sometimes a Dilation and curettage could be undertaken for diagnosis or treatment of the problem.