I wasn’t quite sure what the topic should be for this month’s article focusing on the Menopause, but then came across a post regarding post-menopausal bleeding and hey presto, decision made!
As we enter the perimenopausal stage of life our periods quite often become quite erratic and for many women it can be one of the first signs of change. They may disappear for a few months, arrive more than once a month, start and appear as though they’ve forgotten they need to end and at times lead to real discomfort and the potential embarrassment of flooding.
Then when you reach the stage of not having had a period for more than a year, it is said - you have now gone through the menopause - and the bleeding stops.
So, what happens if you do bleed again even if it’s only slight spotting?
The simple answer is to visit your GP!
It doesn’t matter how light it is, whether its pink or brown, if it was only once and you feel in really good health. It’s a precautionary measure and your GP won’t be dismissive, it’s usually not serious but best practice to check it out.
It could be because
* Inflammation of the vaginal or womb lining, this happens as the estrogen levels drop.
*Polyps within the womb or cervix
* If you’re taking HRT it may cause thickening of the womb lining, or if you’re overweight.
But sometimes it can be caused by cancer, as this lady describes…
Having gone through the menopause and had no periods for over 6 years, I had a random bleed. Well, not even a bleed, just a bit of spotting, nothing really to consider as a 'bleed'.
About 8 weeks later and not thinking much of it, I randomly mentioned it at a doc appointment for something unrelated, she said I needed an urgent referral to a gynecologist to rule out womb cancer.
That was the end of August and I was given an urgent appointment on 13 September.
She had a womb scan and biopsy and a week later, she received terrible news as she was diagnosed with grade 2, endometrial cancer, which is cancer of the womb lining.
Since then, I have had a total hysterectomy. Womb, ovaries, fallopian tubes & cervix all gone. I had the op on 17 Oct and yesterday was my follow up appointment. I was given the all clear and need no further treatment. There was a small chance I could have needed radiotherapy or more!
Because I didn’t ignore the spotting, and saw the doc fairly quickly, I was lucky to have it diagnosed before it had the chance to spread. Endometrial cancer is a slow developing cancer and I could have had it for years, with no symptoms.
The bottom line is, I’m very, very lucky to have took notice of my body, reported it and been treated. Cancer of the womb is the 4th most common female cancer, between the ages of 40 to 70, yet they don’t screen for it like breast and cervical cancer and I had never heard of it.
So please, if you are post menopause and get spotting, however light it is, please see your doc immediately. If caught early, a hysterectomy in 80% of cases, takes it all away!
It really isn't worth ignoring anything that is out of the ordinary....ever!
Thank you so much for allowing me to share your story and to hear of your fabulous news, my very best wishes to you Christine x