Bleeding after menopause
It is not normal to bleed or spot 12 months or more after your last period (menopause). Usually it’s nothing to worry about, but you should always have it checked out by a doctor.
If you are bleeding very heavily or you feel faint or as if you might pass out call triple zero (000) immediately and ask for an ambulance. If calling triple zero (000) does not work on your mobile phone, try calling 112.
How much bleeding is normal after menopause?
You may think you have reached menopause if you have not had a period for a few months. However, it is still possible to have a period up to a year after your last one. After 12 months without a period, any bleeding at all is not normal.
Up to 1 in 10 women experience bleeding or spotting after their menopause. In most cases the bleeding is not serious and a cause may not be found. However, it needs to be checked because sometimes it can be a sign of cervical or uterine cancer, so it is always important to see a doctor if you notice any vaginal bleeding after menopause.
What can cause bleeding after menopause?
There can be several causes for vaginal bleeding after menopause, including:
- inflammation and thinning of the lining of the vagina
- thinning of the lining of the uterus
- thickening of the lining of the uterus, often caused by hormone replacement therapy (HRT)
- polyps (growths) or other abnormalities in the cervix or uterus
How do I manage bleeding after menopause?
Your doctor will want to do some investigations to find the cause of your bleeding. Let them know if you have noticed any changes going to the toilet, whether you have pain, have lost weight or whether you are on HRT. You may also want to check whether you need a cervical screening test.
Some women may need to have an ultrasound, blood test or may be referred to a gynaecologist for further tests.
Treatment will depend on what is causing the bleeding. It may involve medicines to control problems with the lining of the uterus, or surgery to remove polyps.
Not sure what to do next?
If you are still concerned about bleeding after menopause, use healthdirect’s online Symptom Checker to get advice on when to seek medical attention.
The Symptom Checker guides you to the next appropriate healthcare steps, whether it’s self care, talking to a health professional, going to a hospital or calling triple zero (000).
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Last reviewed: May 2021