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Menopause Guide

Rosa Cabrera RN

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ask: I'm 65 and having a vaginal bleeding. Few drops on my underware here and there. I have no pain at all, no heavy lifting, no sex. I am puzzle what could this be. I'm calling my Dr tomorrow morning but can't go to bed just thinking no sense.

By Anonymous
 
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Rosa Cabrera RN

Hi Anon,

Thank you for your question,

No amount of vaginal bleeding or spotting after menopause is normal. Most conditions that cause postmenopausal bleeding are benign, but it could be something more serious. That is why consulting your doctor is important.

The most frequent cause of vaginal bleeding after menopause is thinning of the tissues that line the uterus. This thinning results from the decrease in estrogen levels that women experience after menopause. The condition is common and usually doesn't require treatment. In addition, the vaginal lining can thin out significantly after menopause, to the point of causing some vaginal spotting. Vaginal estrogen can be used to treat this condition.

You didn't mention if you are on hormone therapy. Some medications, like hormone therapy for menopause and blood thinners, can also cause vaginal bleeding.

Uterine polyps or uterine fibroids could be another possible cause. If present, uterine polyps need to be removed, because in rare cases they can be a potential site of cancerous growths. Fibroids are noncancerous (benign) growths in the uterus. They tend to shrink after menopause when the level of estrogen drops and typically don't require treatment. However, fibroids that grow and are associated with bleeding after menopause need to be removed because of potential malignant changes.

Another cause of postmenopausal bleeding is overgrowth of the uterine lining (endometrial hyperplasia). Women of menopausal age are at an increased risk for this condition, particularly if they are obese or have had prolonged exposure to estrogen during their reproductive life. These include women whose periods began at an early age, those who had late menopause, women who have never given birth, or who have had polycystic ovarian syndrome.

If present, endometrial hyperplasia should be identified and treated as soon as possible. Women with this condition are at an increased risk for developing cancer of the uterine lining (endometrial cancer). Endometrial hyperplasia may require surgery, but sometimes it can be managed with medication and close follow-up monitoring.

http://www.mayoclinic.org/medical-edge-newspaper-2009/may-08b.html

Hope you have called your doctor by now,

Rosa

September 9, 2011 - 8:00am
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