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HealthInfo Waitaha Canterbury

Bleeding after menopause

Te toto whanokē i muri i te rauhinetanga

Bleeding after menopause is called postmenopausal bleeding. It's relatively common. The bleeding can range from spotting – a pink or brown discharge – to heavier period-like bleeding.

Usually, the cause is something simple and treatable, but occasionally it can be more serious. If you start bleeding after menopause, always see your GP to find out the cause.

Common causes of postmenopausal bleeding include:

About one in every 10 cases of bleeding after menopause is caused by cancer of the uterus or cervical cancer.

Diagnosing postmenopausal bleeding

Your doctor will ask you about your bleeding, and do a pelvic examination. They may look at your cervix using an instrument called a speculum, which they put inside your vagina. If your last cervical screening test was more than 3 months ago they may do another one.

Tests to find out why you're bleeding may include a transvaginal ultrasound scan, using a specially designed ultrasound probe the width of a tampon. It's put into the lower part of your vagina to get images of your womb (uterus) and check how thick the wall lining is.

Other tests you might need include:

Treating postmenopausal bleeding

The treatment will depend on what is causing the bleeding.

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Written by HealthInfo clinical advisers. Last reviewed September 2021.

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Page reference: 65534

Review key: HIMNP-12236