Menopause is stoppage of menses for more than 1 year in a woman usually between the age of 45 and 55years. Menopause is a natural body process among women. As women ages, the level of estrogen hormone gradually diminishes, the ovaries stops producing eggs, and menses that used to occur regularly and of late irregularly, completely comes to halt. When the menses does not occur for more than one year in a woman who is not pregnant or breast feeding and above the age of 40, she is supposed to be in menopausal phase.
Bleeding after menopause is abnormal; generally this type of bleeding is referred as postmenopausal bleeding. In any case you experience postmenopausal bleeding you should not neglect it. Even the slightest post menopausal spotting demands a gynecologist opinion. There are several reasons for postmenopausal bleeding few of them are serious.
Causes Of Menstrual Bleeding After Menopause
Given below are the causes for postmenopausal bleeding:
- Decline in estrogen level: after menopause, the estrogen hormone level in the body starts to drop. Low estrogen level causes endometrial lining inside the uterine wall to become thin and inelastic, which may breakdown easily resulting into endometrial bleeding. However, it is possible to intervene medically to restore the estrogen hormone and stop postmenopausal bleeding.
- Stress, depression, loss of weight, inadequate diet and lack of nutrients can cause postmenopausal bleeding in some woman.
- Polyps: they are small non cancerous growths usually on the walls of the uterus and cervix. They may be one of the causes of bleeding.
- Uterine fibroids: they are non cancerous growths inside the walls of the uterus. Usually they shrink after menopause due to drop in the estrogen level. However, some fibroids grow in size and cause bleeding. They can potentially become cancerous mass.
- Endometrial hyperplasia: 1 in 10 women may have endometrial hyperplasia. When present, endometrial hyperplasia needs to be treated urgently, because there is increased risk of developing endometrial (lining of the uterus wall) cancer.
- Hormone therapy, certain medications such as women taking blood thinners, infection of cervix and uterus etc can be a reason for postmenopausal bleeding.
Symptoms Of Postmenopausal Bleeding
The first and foremost is bleeding from the vagina, after menopause. The bleeding can be mild spotting or it can be heavy. You may require sanitary pads or tampons. The bleeding may remain for 4 to 5 days or even more. There may be presence of blood clots. Bleeding may be foul smelling.
Hormonal changes and imbalance can cause mood swings and stress. It can affect the emotional health and consequently cause bleeding. Pain in the lower abdomen and pain during intercourse is less common symptom of uterine cancer. Loss of weight, loss of appetite, weakness and tiredness are few other associated symptoms of cancer of uterus.
Postmenopausal Bleeding Treatment
The treatment may depend on the cause. In most cases medical treatment with dietary changes can relieve the condition. In few other serious conditions surgery may be necessary.
- Besides taking hormonal therapy, certain foods and nutrients can also play a great role in balancing the hormones in the body. If you are experiencing postmenopausal bleeding, you should avoid eating avocados, seeds and nuts, olives and spices as they block formation of estrogen hormones.
- Reduce the intake of broccoli, cabbage, onions, pineapples etc. as they are known to decrease the secretion of estrogen hormones. Instead you should eat foods such as flax seeds, apples, cherries, grains, milk, cheese, cottage cheese, soy milk as these foods are rich in estrogen.
- Avoid refined sugar, fried and fatty foods. Regular exercise such as a walk for 45 minutes will help to keep your body healthy.
- In case of polyp, surgery may be necessary to remove the polyps.
- If uterine cancer is detected, it has to be removed surgically. The surgical removal of uterus is known as hysterectomy.