Postmenopausal bleeding is vaginal bleeding that occurs a year or more after your last menstrual period. It can be a symptom of vaginal dryness, polyps (noncancerous growths) or other changes in your reproductive system. In about 10% of women, bleeding after menopause is a sign of uterine cancer.
Postmenopausal bleeding is bleeding that occurs after menopause. Menopause is a stage in a woman’s life (around age 51) when reproductive hormones drop and her monthly menstrual periods stop. Vaginal bleeding that occurs more than a year after a woman’s last period isn’t normal. The bleeding can be light (spotting) or heavy.
Postmenopausal bleeding is usually due to benign (noncancerous) gynecological conditions such as endometrial polyps. But for about 10% of women, bleeding after menopause is a sign of uterine cancer (endometrial cancer). Uterine cancer is the most common type of reproductive cancer (more common than ovarian or cervical cancers.) Talk to your healthcare provider if you experience any bleeding after menopause.
Anyone can have vaginal bleeding, especially during perimenopause. Perimenopause, the time leading up to menopause, usually occurs between ages 40 and 50. It’s the phase when a woman’s hormone levels and periods start to change.
Postmenopausal bleeding occurs in about 10% of women over 55.
The most common causes of bleeding or spotting after menopause include:
Other causes can include:
Treatment for postmenopausal bleeding depends on its cause. Medication and surgery are the most common treatments.
Contact your healthcare provider if you experience vaginal bleeding:
A note from Cleveland Clinic
It’s normal to have irregular vaginal bleeding in the years leading up to menopause. But if you have bleeding more than a year after your last menstrual period, it’s time to see your healthcare provider. It could be the result of a simple infection or benign growths. But in rare cases, bleeding could be a sign of uterine cancer.
Last reviewed by a Cleveland Clinic medical professional on 05/26/2021.
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