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What is Menopause?

Menopause is a normal process in every ageing woman’s life, which is characterised by the absence of monthly menstrual periods. Menopause marks the end of a woman’s reproductive period.

What is Post-Menopausal Bleeding?

Post-menopausal bleeding is vaginal bleeding that occurs after a woman has undergone menopause, after one year without menstrual periods.

Causes of Post-Menopausal Bleeding

Post-menopausal bleeding may happen due to:

  • Endometrial, uterine or cervical cancer
  • Uterine or endometrial polyps: abnormal overgrowth in the lining of the uterus (endometrium)
  • Side effects of hormone replacement therapy
  • Overuse of medicines containing oestrogen

Diagnosis of Post-Menopausal Bleeding

When you visit your doctor with complaints of post-menopausal vaginal bleeding, your doctor will review your medical history, inquire about the amount of blood, duration of bleeding, presence of pain and other symptoms, and perform a thorough physical examination.

Your doctor may order a Pap smear to screen for cervical cancer, or a transvaginal ultrasound or hysteroscopy, to view the interior of the uterus and vagina.

Treatment of Post-Menopausal Bleeding

Once the diagnosis is made, your treatment will be aimed at suppressing or eliminating the cause. The following treatments may be suggested:

  • Progestin (hormone replacement therapy), to suppress bleeding due to endometrial overgrowth/uterine polyps
  • Oestrogen creams, to suppress bleeding due to degeneration of vaginal tissues
  • Polyp removal surgery
  • Hysterectomy (removal of the uterus), to control bleeding caused due to endometrial, uterine or cervical cancer
  • If cancer is the cause of your post-menopausal bleeding, then chemotherapy, radiation therapy, and surgery can help in your treatment.

Prevention and Care for Post-Menopausal Bleeding

The best way to treat any condition is through maintenance of healthy body weight, consumption of a nutritious diet and regular exercise. The same holds true for the management of post-menopausal bleeding. Postmenopausal bleeding can be treated effectively based on timely diagnosis. It’s important to keep your regular appointments with your gynaecologist.

The University of Western AustraliaST John of God Health CareGlengarry Private Hospital