Please note that we will always try to accommodate same-day appointments, please call 020 7637 1075 or book online using the button below.

OPENING TIMES

 

Monday : 9am - 5pm

Tuesday : 9am - 5pm

Wednesday : 9am - 5pm

Thursday : 9am - 5pm

Friday : 9am - 5pm

Saturday : Closed

Sunday : Closed

CONTACT

The McIndoe Centre

25 Harley Street

London

W1G 9QW

020 7637 1075

reception@amcindoe.com

© 2018 THE MCINDOE CENTRE

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POST MENOPAUSAL BLEEDING

Postmenopausal bleeding is any bleeding after the menopause (i.e when you have not had a period for 12 months), no matter how light, even a brown discharge is classified as postmenopausal bleeding. Postmenopausal bleeding usually occurs because of thinning of the lining of the womb or vagina. Because postmenopausal bleeding may be an early indication of a cancer of the womb it should always be investigated. Simple, one stop investigation, should find the cause of the problem.

Treatment for Postmenopausal Bleeding

Usually postmenopausal bleeding occurs only once or twice and doesn’t recur. With recurrent bleeding from this cause, we prescribe topical estrogen. Usually no treatment is necessary.

What will happen during your clinic visit?

We usually arrange a pelvic ultrasound at the start of your first clinic. This looks carefully at the inside of the uterus. An ultrasound scan can visualise uterine polyps or endometrial hyperplasia. The ultrasound also examines the ovaries for cysts or early ovarian cancers.

Measuring the thickness of the endometrium on ultrasound and is important. If the lining of the uterus is less than 5 mm, then the chances of an endometrial cancer is very low. In this case a biopsy of endometrium is not necessary. If the lining is over 5mm, then we would usually arrange a biopsy from the lining of the womb. We normally do a pelvic examination.

We can see if there is an abnormality of the cervix or vagina. We sometimes take a smear test at the same time. If a discharge is present, we take swabs from the vagina to check for infections.

If we need a more detailed assessment of the cervix, we can examine the cervix with colposcopy.


Causes of postmenopausal bleeding

Atrophic vaginitis

Atrophic vaginitis is when the skin of the vagina gets very thin because of a lack of estrogen. This is the most common cause of postmenopausal bleeding.

Before the menopause, estrogen from the ovaries keeps the skin of the vagina healthy.

After the menopause, the estrogen levels drop and the skin of the vagina thins. This allows it to get damaged more easily, and sometimes it becomes inflamed. This process also occurs inside the womb, and  bleeding can occur from either the womb or the vagina.

The site of the bleeding is often not found. We make this diagnosis by excluding all other possibilities.

 

Uterine polyps

Uterine polyps occur when the lining of the uterus or womb thickens locally. The peristaltic action of the uterus pulls on the thickened area. This action pulls it up into a little polyp, or out pouching of the skin. Polyps are of varying size, but usually are benign. When found after the menopause, endometrial hyperplasia may be the cause.

Endometrial hyperplasia

Endometrial hyperplasia is when the lining of the uterus is growing faster than it should do. These cells are not under normal control. Simple hyperplasia is a benign condition, with a very low risk of becoming a cancer. If the cells are more abnormal, we call the changes atypical hyperplasia. These changes have a significant risk of becoming a cancer.

Ovarian cysts

Benign ovarian cysts can release estrogen that can cause postmenopausal bleeding. We detect these cysts using a pelvic ultrasound scan.

 

Ovarian cysts

Uterine cancer is the most common cancer found in women with postmenopausal bleeding. We may find this after one episode of bleeding. This usually causes repeated bleeding. Most endometrial cancers present at an early stage because they cause postmenopausal bleeding. We treat endometrial cancer by a hysterectomy. Often a keyhole procedure will be appropriate. Surgery is usually all that is necessary to cure endometrial cancer.

Uterine Cancer
Uterine cancer is the most common cancer found in women with postmenopausal bleeding. We may find this after one episode of bleeding. This usually causes repeated bleeding. Most endometrial cancers present at an early stage because they cause postmenopausal bleeding. We treat endometrial cancer by a hysterectomy. Often a keyhole procedure will be appropriate. Surgery is usually all that is necessary to cure endometrial cancer.

Cancer of the Cervix

Cancer of the cervix can cause postmenopausal bleeding. Cancer of the cervix is very uncommon in women who have had regular smears. We diagnose cancers of the cervix early in our community. The cure rate for early cancer of the cervix is very good.
 

Cancer of the Ovary

Some ovarian cancer can present with postmenopausal bleeding. Ovarian cancers can produce estrogen which destabilises the thin postmenopausal endometrium. For early stage ovarian cancer the cure rate is very good. Many ovarian cancers present at stage III and are more difficult to cure.