Did you know there are a lot of women who go through menopause and then still experience spotting? In fact, there is a range of conditions that can lead to post-menopause bleeding, many of which you probably didn’t even know about.
If you are one of these women who have experienced spotting after menopause we are here to explain everything you need to know.
What is menopause?
Menopause is a very common part of being a woman. This process begins when your body has aged enough that it can no longer physically get pregnant. When the process first starts, estrogen levels will begin to decrease, meaning that your cervix, uterus, and vagina all start to change.
During this time, many women get hot flashes and can experience drastic mood swings. They can also experience shifts in the moisture and bacteria levels in the vaginal area. This is why it is always encouraged to continue to take care of your vagina during and even after menopause.
In most cases, menopause concludes after 12 months without a period. During these 12 months, your vaginal area should not experience any sort of bleeding. This includes spotting or heavy flow.
What happens if I spot after menopause?
While it is not normal to bleed after menopause, in many cases it is not a dangerous thing. In fact, many conditions that cause menopause bleeding can be treated if found early enough.
Regardless of what you think is causing your symptoms, we encourage you to first and foremost have a chat with your doctor. It is always better to play it safe rather than sorry when it comes to your health.
Here are some common reasons why you might be experiencing spotting after menopause:
Vaginal infection: Our bodies are able to communicate to us signs of issues that might be occurring in places we can’t see with our own eyes. This is the case when it comes to vaginal discharge. For example, if the spotting you are experiencing is a lighter color you may very well be dealing with a vaginal infection.
Hormone therapy: Did you know that a common side effect of us taking hormones is vaginal bleeding? This is because sometimes, the hormones we are taking can lead to endometrial hyperplasia. While in most cases the hormone therapy you are undertaking can simply be altered, the bleeding may also be an early sign of endometrial cancer.
Thinning of your vaginal tissue: When our bodies go through menopause, our hormone levels start to decrease. However, when our body has fewer hormones, our uterus and vagina can be impacted. Most specifically with the thinning of the inner tissues. Common symptoms of this include spotting and bleeding.
Polyps have developed in your cervix: Your cervix helps your menstrual blood flow. For many women, polyps develop on their cervix that can cause irregular bleeding. While the polyps are not cancerous, it is certainly something we encourage all ladies to follow up on with their doctor.
Cervix or Uterine Cancer: The reason it is important to consult a medical professional quickly if you experience bleeding after menopause is because this is often a sign of cancer. Luckily there are some amazing therapeutics and treatment plans that you can receive if it is caught early enough.
What can you do about the bleeding or spotting?
First and foremost, remember that there is a whole community like ours out here to support you. So, you don’t have to deal with this on your own. Depending on what the exact issue is, there are several options you can take to try to stop the bleeding or spotting.
Here are some treatments you could undergo depending on what your bleeding diagnosis is:
- – Endometrial Hyperplasia Treatment: If you are experiencing post-menopause bleeding as a result of Endometrial Hyperplasia, the best type of treatment is the one that is able to thicken the wall of your uterus.
- – Estrogen Therapy: If you are bleeding or spotting due to unbalanced or low levels of estrogen, you can take a supplement form through a range of treatment plans.
- – Surgery: If your bleeding is caused by polyps, then the best course of action is to have them surgically removed. The good thing is that the procedure is quite straightforward. But if your symptoms are a result of cancer, a larger surgery known as a hysterectomy will need to be performed.
Can you prevent post-menstrual bleeding?
Because there are so many different conditions that can cause this, it is difficult to boil it down to one set way to prevent the bleeding. However, here are our top three tips for keeping yourself as healthy as possible down there.
Practice great feminine hygiene! Seriously, the better you clean that area the healthier your vagina will be. Make sure to use a pH-balanced feminine wash so you can keep things clean without disrupting your body’s natural pH.
Visit your doctor regularly. As frustrating as doctor visits can be, it is totally worth it to go regularly. It helps prevent things from getting out of hand. You’ll be able to catch any problems early and have more treatment options available.
Talk about your vaginal health! We are all unique but all us women have each other’s back and want to support each other. When we talk about vaginal health, we open ourselves up to learn more. Try new products or techniques, and be educated about our own feminine hygiene.
So while there is no way to prevent all post-menstrual bleeding, there is a range of things you can do to treat it.
And to wrap it up, we want to end with one of our core messages—let’s be strong together as a community. If you are dealing with bleeding after menopause, lean on your fellow ladies and they will help you get through it!
Sarah Nelson is a nurse with 15 years of experience working with a variety of patients. She has a Masters of Science in Nursing and has spent a large portion of her career working exclusively with women in an OB/GYN setting.
Nursing is a passion for Sarah but she also enjoys writing and sharing her expertise online with people who need helpful information. Treating patients well and helping them learn more about their own bodies is a key essential to a healthy lifestyle that Sarah truly believes in.