Postmenopausal Bleeding – Is Bleeding After Menopause Normal?

December 6th, 2020 | 5:29 am

What is Postmenopausal Bleeding?

  • Any amount of bleeding from the vagina after a woman has stopped having menstrual cycles for 12 months (menopause) is termed as postmenopausal bleeding
  • Spotting or light bleeding after menopause might not seem like a serious problem, but one should never ignore it
  • Any bleeding should trigger a visit to your doctor as soon as possible

Causes for Postmenopausal Bleeding?

  • Vaginal atrophy / Endometrial atrophy (most common)
  • Cervical polyps / Uterine polyps
  • Endometrial hyperplasia
  • Endometrial cancer (10% cases)
  • Medications like Tamoxifen (used in Breast cancer)
  • Hormone replacement therapy (cyclical / breakthrough)

How to evaluate women with Postmenopausal Bleeding?

  • A gynaecology consultation should be arranged for every woman with postmenopausal bleeding. Detailed history, speculum examination, drug history, family history (any cancers) should be enquired
  • Transvaginal Ultrasound for better visualisation of pelvic pathology
  • Office Hysteroscopy – a thin flexible scope to examine the endometrial cavity and its lining (OPD procedure)
  • Hysteroscopic guided biopsy / Fractional Curettage – samples from endometrial tissue tested for the presence of any cancerous cells

What are the treatment options?

It depends on the cause for the bleeding

  • Oestrogen therapy: To treat vaginal and endometrial atrophy. Can be prescribed in various forms – oral pills, vaginal cream, vaginal tablet or vaginal ring
  • Progestin therapy: Ideal for endometrial hyperplasia
    (simple). Can be used as oral pills or an intrauterine device
  • Hysteroscopy: For the removal of polyp (polypectomy)
  • Hysterectomy: In precancerous form of endometrial hyperplasia and early stages of uterine and cervical cancer, total hysterectomy can be performed (sometimes requires lymph nodes removal also)
  • For late-stage cancers, radiotherapy and chemotherapy can be offered

Dr Sameetha Pallem
Consultant Obstetrician & Gynaecologist
Giggles by OMNI RK, Visakhapatnam