Healthdirect Free Australian health advice you can count on.

Medical problem? Call 1800 022 222. If you need urgent medical help, call triple zero immediately

healthdirect Australia is a free service where you can talk to a nurse or doctor who can help you know what to do.

beginning of content

Bleeding after menopause

2-minute read

It is not normal to bleed or spot 12 months or more after your last period. 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 finished 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, 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 nothing to worry about and a cause is never found. However, sometimes it can be a sign of cervical or uterine cancer, so it’s 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 your vagina
  • thinning of the lining of your uterus
  • thickening of the lining of the uterus, often because of hormone replacement therapy (HRT)
  • polyps (growths) in the cervix or uterus
  • abnormalities in the cervix or uterus

Managing 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 (hormone replacement therapy). 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 womb, 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).

Learn more here about the development and quality assurance of healthdirect content.

Last reviewed: May 2019

Need more information?

These trusted information partners have more on this topic.

Top results

Sex After Menopause | HealthEngine Blog

Changes in sexual feelingsduring and after menopause are caused byhormonal and psychosocial changes, and can be permanent.

Read more on HealthEngine website

Premature and early menopause - Better Health Channel

The symptoms of premature or early menopause are the same as for menopause at any age.

Read more on Better Health Channel website

Menstruation - abnormal bleeding - Better Health Channel

Heavy or abnormal periods may be an indication of other health problems.

Read more on Better Health Channel website

Menopause | HealthEngine Blog

Menopause is the permanent cessation of menstrual periods. It is diagnosed after one year with no periods when the average woman is 51 years of age.

Read more on HealthEngine website

Mood swings in menopause | HealthEngine Blog

Mood changes can occur during and after menopause. They can take mild forms such as feeling irritated and upset, or more severe forms such as rapid temper changes and aggression.

Read more on HealthEngine website

Heavy bleeding | Jean Hailes

Here you will find information about heavy bleeding, what causes it, how heavy bleeding is diagnosed and what treatments are available.

Read more on Jean Hailes for Women's Health website

Menopausal hormone therapy (MHT)

Hormone replacement therapy (HRT), now more commonly known as menopausal hormone therapy (MHT), is not a quick fix for the challenge of menopause, but it can reduce troublesome symptoms.

Read more on myDr website

Guide to living well with menopause | HealthEngine Blog

Menopause is a time of significant and often unpleasant changes in a womans life. The majority of women (up to 85%) experience symptoms related to the dramatic hormonal changes of menopause.

Read more on HealthEngine website

Hormone replacement therapy (HRT) and menopause - Better Health Channel

Hormone replacement therapy (HRT) can reduce menopausal symptoms, but the benefits and risks need to be considered carefully.

Read more on Better Health Channel website

Menopause management | Jean Hailes

Management and treatment of menopausal symptoms depends on each individual woman. Healthy living, natural and complementary therapies including herbs and phytoestrogens, hormone replacement therapy (HRT), some antidepressant medications and medications ty

Read more on Jean Hailes for Women's Health website

Healthdirect 24hr 7 days a week hotline

24 hour health advice you can count on

1800 022 222

Government Accredited with over 140 information partners

We are a government-funded service, providing quality, approved health information and advice

Australian Government, health department logo ACT Government logo New South Wales government, health department logo Northen Territory Government logo Government of South Australia, health department logo Tasmanian government logo Government of Western Australia, health department logo