Common causes of post-menopausal bleeding
Vaginal bleeding after menopause has completed is considered to be abnormal and should be investigated by a professional health care provider. It signals the presence of some type of gynecological problem. One of the potential causes could be a hormone imbalance. This is common for women who have undergone hormone replacement therapy. The deficiency of estrogen can lead to dryness in the endometrial area (lining of the uterus). Blood vessels in this region may become compromised and begin to bleed.
Another common cause of bleeding is the presence of fibroid tumors or polyps. There are two ways that the initial symptom of their presence is distinguished. Most times fibroids result in heavy bleeding that may require surgical intervention. It is estimated that one in 5 women with fibroids actually have a cancerous condition. Polyps generally cause lighter bleeding. Not all growths in the uterine are cancerous; in fact the majorities are not.
How health care providers diagnose the causes of post-menopausal vaginal bleeding?
Health care professionals begin with a review of the health history and then if required, conduct a pelvic exam to physically assess if there are any abnormalities that can be felt. The cervical and vaginal areas are examined thoroughly. This may be followed by diagnostic imagery. Cultures and biopsies may be taken to further help identify the causes of the bleeding. If cancer is found, surgery and other treatment, such as radiation and chemotherapy may be required. Ovarian cancer is also an issue that can be the cause of vaginal bleeding. If this is diagnosed, surgery is required to remove one or both of them.
Other causes of bleeding after menopause
Another cause of bleeding can be from the use of certain pharmaceuticals, or even sexual intercourse in some rare cases. Vaginal atrophy and dryness that has caused the vaginal tissues to become fragile can result in tearing of the tissues in severe cases.
Vaginal infections can also cause bleeding. Bacterial vaginosis or yeast infections are highly treatable conditions, but their symptoms may be a bit frightening. In addition, sexually transmitted diseases such as chlamydia, trichomonas and gonorrhea may also cause post-menopausal vaginal bleeding. The large varieties of different conditions that can be culprit require testing for accurate diagnosis and the best treatment.
How to know if you’re having an emergency?
Whenever vaginal bleeding becomes so heavy that you are soaking a full sized pad an hour, there is cause for strong concern. This is abnormal and emergency help should be sought immediately. Such conditions can cause severe anemia, or result in the risk of disability or death.
Vaginal bleeding after menopause is abnormal. The first thought that generally crosses a woman’s mind is the dreaded disease of cancer. There is a possibility that this may be the case, but there are many other conditions that can be the cause of vaginal bleeding after the completion of menopause. Benign growths such as polyps or fibroids are common and only roughly 20 percent of fibroids turn out to be malignant.
Hormonal imbalances can also lead to post menopause vaginal bleeding as a lack of estrogen can lead to vaginal atrophy and a weakening of the surrounding tissues. These can become damaged, causing bleeding. Certain cancers are also a possible cause of vaginal bleeding. In addition, vaginal infections and certain sexually transmitted diseases may be the cause.
If you experience any type of vaginal bleeding after the completion of menopause, there is reason for concern because it is considered to be abnormal. A thorough investigation by your health care provider can help to isolate the cause and hopefully put your mind at ease, while treating the condition properly. Waiting to be tested can be costly as most serious or life threatening conditions have a higher cure rate when caught in the very early stages.