The Connection with Heavy Bleeding During Menopause
During menopause, a woman usually experiences a drastic change in her menstrual cycle. She may start having heavier or lighter periods than normal, or may have a shorter or longer number of days with her period. These changes are brought about by the fluctuating levels of hormones in her body. Women who experience heavy bleeding during menopause can find it difficult to lead a normal life during their menstrual periods. They have to plan vacations and trips around these periods. They may also find they are unable to go to work during their period.
How Common are Irregular Periods During Perimenopause?
Irregular periods during perimenopause are one of the most common symptoms that a woman is nearing menopause. Because the hormonal changes in the body affect the ovulation cycle, a woman first notices changes to her menstrual cycle before any other menopause symptoms are evident.
Possible Causes of Bleeding During Postmenopause
It is important to note that bleeding after menopause (or during the postmenopause stage) is not normal. This should be reported to a doctor immediately. Following are some possible causes of bleeding during the postmenopausal stage.
1. Vaginal Dryness:
Although vaginal dryness mainly causes discomfort during sexual intercourse, it can lead to light bleeding. This is because the vaginal walls and surrounding tissues are broken and irritated, a condition caused by lower estrogen levels in the body.
2. Hormonal Fluctuation:
Hormonal fluctuation can causebleeding during post menopause. Although the body is not producing estrogen and progesterone during the postmenopausal years, there may be changes in the body that can lead to release of estrogen already stored in the body. This estrogen may be released from body fat as a result of sudden weight loss*, which can lead to bleeding.
3. Uterine Polyps:
Uterine polyps are noncancerous growths that grow on the uterus wall or the cervix. They may cause bleeding during post menopause.
Low estrogen levels in the body can cause thinning of the uterus lining – the endometrium. This thinning of the endometrium is known as atrophy. A thin lining may lead to bleeding during post menopause.
5. Special Considerations:
When a woman bleeds in the years just prior to menopause, it is considered a normal occurrence. But once she has gone for 12 months without a menstrual period, she has gone through menopause. She should not expect to bleed anymore. However, if she does, she should see a medical doctor immediately because this usually means there is an underlying issue that needs to be treated.
6. Occasional Periods:
Research studies indicate that up to 30% of postmenopausal women experience occasional bleeding. This bleeding can sometimes be in the form of occasional periods, which are usually lighter than they were during perimenopause.
7. Thinner Vaginal Wall:
During post-menopause, the vaginal wall becomes thinner because of lower estrogen levels. This can lead to light bleeding during post menopause.
8. Vaginal Infection:
A vaginal infection is a common cause of menstrual bleeding during post menopause. A woman with a vaginal infection may experience a little spotting after sexual intercourse. She may also have a slightly discolored discharge as a result of the infection.
When a woman bleeds during post menopause, cancer is one of the likely causes of this. This can be uterine, endometrium, ovarian or cervical cancer. It is critical, therefore, that a postmenopausal woman visits a medical practitioner if she has menstrual bleeding so that the various diseases can be tested and treated.
Ways to Manage Menopausal Bleeding
1. Low-dose Birth Control Pills:
In order to replace and regulate the estrogen and progesterone in the body, a woman can use low-dose birth-control pills. These pills contain low levels of these critical hormones, and help the body to maintain optimum levels and control menstrual bleeding.
Progestogen treatment during post menopause contains only the progesterone hormone. This helps the body replace the low levels of the hormone, allowing it to manage the bleeding during post menopause.
3. Monitoring Your Symptoms:
When a woman bleeds more than she should, or bleeds during the post-menopausal years, it is important that she keeps a record of these symptoms. If there are any other symptoms that accompany this bleeding, they should also be monitored. This will make it easier when she visits a medical practitioner to be able to detail the symptoms, their severity and the exact times when they occurred.
4. Enhance* Your Overall Health:
One of the most effective ways for a woman to manage menopausal bleeding is to enhance* her overall health. This is done by incorporating basic health principles into the daily program. These include exercising at least 5 times a week for a minimum of 30 minutes a day. A change in diet to include fruits, vegetables, nuts, seeds and grains will also help improve* overall health. It is critical that a woman avoids snacking and eating in-between meals as well. In order to improve* overall health, a woman should also spend up to 8 hours sleeping each night. These simple activities will help her improve* overall health, and give the body the strength it needs to manage menopausal bleeding and any other health problems related to menopause.
How to Stop Bleeding During Menopause?
In order to stop bleeding during menopause, doctors may recommend low-dose birth-control pills. These help the body regulate the menstrual cycle and manage the number of days and the severity of the menstrual periods. Progestogen treatment can also be used to stop bleeding. If these methods fail, doctors may recommend a dilation and curettage (D&C) procedure.
How is Bleeding Diagnosed After Menopause?
In order to diagnose bleeding after menopause, a doctor may conduct a few tests. These tests include a hysteroscopy, which allows the doctor to examine the uterus with a small camera and a light. The doctor could also perform an endometrial biopsy, where a small sample of the lining of the uterus is scraped and tested in a lab. A D&C can also be used to diagnose menopause bleeding – this is similar to the endometrial biopsy.
Treatment of Menopause Bleeding
In order to treat* menopause bleeding, a variety of options are available for both menopausal and post-menopausal women. The treatment option selected will depend on the results of the tests run by the doctor. In some cases (e.g. polyps) the doctor may recommend surgery to remove* these growths. If the problem is atrophy, then medicines may be prescribed to treat* this.