If you have completed menopause -- gone without a period for more than one year -- you should not experience any menstrual bleeding. Even a little spotting is not normal after menopause. If you have postmenopausal bleeding, make an appointment to see your doctor as soon as possible. It could be caused by a number of health problems, some of which are serious.
Several health conditions can cause postmenopausal bleeding, including:
Polyps-These are growths, usually noncancerous, that can develop in the uterus, on the cervix, or inside the cervical canal, and may cause bleeding.
Endometrial atrophy (thinning of the endometrium)- The endometrium, the tissue that lines the uterus, can become very thin after menopause because of diminished estrogen levels, and may cause unexpected bleeding.
Endometrial hyperplasia: In this condition, the lining of the uterus becomes thick, usually as a result of too much estrogen and too little progesterone, and bleeding may occur as a result. Obesity may be the cause of the problem. Some patients with endometrial hyperplasia may have abnormal cells that can lead to endometrial cancer (cancer of the uterine lining).
Endometrial cancer (uterine cancer)- Bleeding after menopause can be a sign of endometrial cancer.
Other causes - Hormone therapy, infection of the uterus or cervix, use of certain medications such as blood thinners, and other types of cancer can cause postmenopausal bleeding.
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