Post menopausal bleeding
Menopause is a retrospective diagnosis. It is diagnosed after a woman has had no menstrual periods for 12 months.
The average age of menopause in Australian women is 51, but for many women it occurs in their 40s or early 50s.
If it occurs before the age of 40, it is considered to be "premature" menopause.
After menopause it is not normal to have vaginal bleeding, unless you have been taking hormone replacement therapy.
It is of concern, because about 10% of women with post-menopausal bleeding have it because of the presence of endometrial cancer (usually very early.) Of course, about 90% of women do not have cancer.
There are many other causes of post menopausal bleeding. These include:
- endometrial polyps
- cervical polyps
- endometrial hyperplasia
- vaginal atrophy
Ultrasound is very useful for determining the cause of post menopausal bleeding. We usually find a benign cause which can be easily treated.