Menopause is the stage in a woman's life which marks the end of her menstrual cycle and the point at which she stops having her periods. Though it occurs at the age of 50-52 years (sometimes more than that too), this phase begins 8-10 years before, i.e. when a woman is in her 40s. This is called the perimenopausal stage where a woman's periods become irregular, sometimes not occurring for months. The bleeding during this time can be either very light or sometimes very heavy too. This irregularity of periods goes for a long time until menstrual periods stop forever. A woman who has not had her periods for a year is said to be in her postmenopausal stage. However, there have been cases where bleeding has occurred after menopause. This can be a sign of something unusual and should be taken seriously.
According to experts, any amount of vaginal bleeding, be it very light or very heavy bleeding, that appears after menopause, can be a matter of concern and medical opinion must be taken without much delay. This is because, sooner the cause is diagnosed, sooner the affected person can be given the appropriate treatment. Some of the causes that can lead to the occurrence of vaginal bleeding are as follows:
Hormone Replacement Therapy
Hormone replacement therapy is one of the most common reasons for this condition. During the period of menopause, lot of hormonal changes occur in the woman's body which gives rise to various problems like hot flushes, vaginal dryness, etc. In such cases, many women are recommended to take the hormone replacement therapy either orally or vaginally. This can increase a woman's chances of experiencing bleeding postmenopause.
There are actually two types of hormone therapy which are continuous combined therapy and the cyclic therapy. In the former therapy, estrogen as well as progesterone supplements are taken everyday while in the later, estrogen is taken everyday, whereas progesterone is taken only for some days. In the case of continuous combined therapy, one may experience irregular bleeding for the initial few months, while in the case of cyclic therapy, bleeding may occur on the days when only estrogen is taken. However, this kind of bleeding does not go beyond six months and if any such thing happens, the doctor should be informed immediately.
Poor or Insufficient Nutrition
Poor nutrition can also be the cause of vaginal bleeding after menopause in some women. When the body does not receive the vitamins and minerals it needs, hormonal imbalance is said to occur, which leads to this condition. This is more common in women who are insulin resistant because such women have a high level of estrogen in their body, sometimes even converting the progesterone into estrogen which gives rise to conditions similar to periods. Hence, it is important for menopausal and postmenopausal women to follow a diet that has high nutritional value. If your diet does not fulfill your nutritional demands, it is important that you consume multivitamin supplements as well as herbs, along with a healthy diet.
Benign Uterine Growth
The growth of fibroids or polyps on the uterine wall is also one of the reasons for the occurrence of postmenopausal bleeding. In case of polyps, one may undergo light vaginal bleeding or maybe spotting, while with the presence of fibroids on the uterine wall, the chances of heavy bleeding is the highest. Though these growths are benign, i.e. noncancerous, it is important to treat them as soon as possible, as there are chances for these growths to become malignant, if left without treatment. Some tests may be conducted by the doctor to take a look at the condition of these benign growths which can be removed by performing endoscopy.
Apart from these causes, cancer is another reason for this to occur. Uterine cancer is the most dangerous cause of vaginal bleeding after a woman enters menopause and this is the reason that the doctor should be consulted, if such a thing happens at the postmenopausal stage. The initial stage of this type of cancer is called the endometrial hyperplasia where the inner lining of the uterus thickens and grows too much. When this condition is not treated at the correct time, a person may develop uterine cancer. Cervical cancer can also be the reason for vaginal bleeding to occur after menopause.
Apart from these causes, factors such as excessive or quick weight loss can also lead to this problem. Women who lose weight very quickly may have this problem because with fat loss, the estrogen present in excess fat is released into the blood, which leads to this condition. Another reason can be too much of emotional or physical stress.
On a conclusive note, experiencing this problem can be serious and hence, must be addressed promptly. Once the cause is diagnosed, the problem can be treated completely. Therefore, being aware and taking action promptly will ensure that no complications occur out of this issue.
Disclaimer: This HerHaleness article is for informative purposes only, and should not be used as a replacement for expert medical advice.