Menopause is a transition phase in a woman's life when her menstrual cycle comes to an end permanently. Spotting after menopause is not something very unusual. We can describe spotting as discharge of a few droplets of blood which is either brown or red in color. There is no heavy flow like a regular menstrual period. A woman who has reached menopause about 6 months ago can experience spotting and is a normal occurrence. It suggests that she has not reached menopause completely. However, if a woman who had menopause quite some time back and gets spotting all of a sudden, then it could be cause for concern.
There are several factors that can cause spotting post menopause. As the ovaries fail to produce normal level of reproductive hormone estrogen, a middle aged woman reaches menopause. Brown spotting may happen after menopause due to the same reason. In other words, low level of estrogen in the body leads to a condition known as vaginal atrophy where the blood vessels and other tissues on the lining of the vaginal wall become weak and susceptible to breakage. This results in white, brown or red discharge. It is often accompanied by itching and inflammation in the area.
Women who are undergoing hormone replacement therapy after menopause may get spotting occasionally. During this treatment, low doses of estrogen is administered into the woman's body to provide relief from various menopausal symptoms. While undergoing this treatment, spotting occurs as the body tries to cope up with the changes in the hormonal levels.
When the vaginal discharge has a foul odor and is accompanied by fever and abdominal pain, then it is likely that the area has been infected. Growth of benign fibroid tumor inside the uterus may cause light menopausal bleeding. In some cases, the polyps give painful symptoms too.
Stress is another possible factor which triggers spotting. A menopausal woman often feel stressed out as her body adjusts with the physical changes. If she gets additional stress due to external factors then it can lead to spotting.
Those who are suffering from leukemia can get this kind of abnormal spotting as the disease affects the blood clot formation mechanism of the body. One of the not so common cause of spotting blood after menopause is ovarian or uterine cancer. This possibility is higher in those women who are above the age of 60. Usually, in such serious cases, there will be spotting continuously.
Whatever be the cause, spotting after menopause should not be taken lightly and you must consult a doctor. First of all, doctors conduct pap smear test to check the possibility of cancer. If the pap smear report show positive results, then biopsy is conducted. If this report confirms presence of malignant cells, then hysterectomy surgery is essential for removal of the cancerous growth.
In those cases where the pap smear test comes negative, doctors start looking for other causes by studying the medical history and lifestyle of the patient. Any hormonal imbalance is treated with estrogen where it is prescribed mostly in the form of tablets or topical creams. If you are already getting hormone replacement therapy, then doctors make necessary adjustment with the dosage. A vaginal infection is eliminated with suitable medicines. Doctors also advise menopausal women to maintain a healthy and stress free life in order to avoid recurrence of spotting in future.
If you are experiencing spotting after menopause, do not lose your peace of mind and draw conclusion that you are suffering from cancer. Rather, visit a doctor without any delay. Timely treatment is the best way to deal with the problem successfully.