Spotting After Menopause
Is This Normal?
Spotting after menopause is something many women experience. The herbalist and menopause author, Susan Weed, writes that spotting can appear for up to 2 years after menopause.
However, like actual post menopausal periods, it should be checked out by a doctor to rule out other illnesses.
Some of the things that can cause spotting include vaginal infections, changing hormone levels, tumors, polyps and fibroids, cancer, and some STD’s like chlamydia, warts, and gonorrhea.
Polyps, in particular, are more associated with spotting, and irregular light bleeding. Fibroids tend to be associated with heavier bleeding, though they can also cause light bleeding.
However, many women who experience spotting after menopause do not have these things wrong. So, why can it happen?
looking at spotting after menopauseA woman’s vagina can become irritated from lack of estrogen.
If a woman is on hormone replacement therapy, the endometrium may grow as it is very sensitive to estrogen. Thus, if this build up sheds, then spotting or bleeding after menopause will occur.
If a woman is not taking hormones, then the lack of estrogen can cause the lining of the uterus to deteriorate. In this situation, the blood vessels become very fragile, and may break and thus bleed.
A doctor’s examination can see whether the ovaries and uterus are normal, and what your hormone levels are. They may order an endometrial biopsy, a pap smear, a pelvic ultrasound, as well as a blood test to determine hormone levels.
One woman who had been classified as post menopausal for a year, discovered that her ovaries were indeed still active, and that she was in fact not post menopausal!
As always, it’s important to check with your doctor.
References: 1. http://www.mayoclinic.com/health/vaginal-bleeding/HO00159