- With Mayo Clinic gynecologist and obstetrician
Mary M. Gallenberg, M.D.read biographyclose window
Mary M. Gallenberg, M.D.Mary M. Gallenberg, M.D.
Dr. Mary Gallenberg is board certified by the American Board of Obstetrics and Gynecology and by the American Board of Internal Medicine in internal medicine and medical oncology.
An Antigo, Wis., native, Dr. Gallenberg is a consultant in the Department of Obstetrics & Gynecology at Mayo Clinic, Rochester, Minn., and an assistant professor at College of Medicine, Mayo Clinic.
Dr. Gallenberg has been with Mayo Clinic since 1990. She was on the Mayo Clinic Women's HealthSource editorial board and has been honored for excellence in teaching. She also won a Mayo Clinic Excellence Through Teamwork award.
- Bleeding after menopause: Is it normal?
Treatments and drugs (3)
- Bioidentical hormones: Are they safer?
- Hormone replacement therapy: Cause of vaginal bleeding?
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Bleeding after menopause: Is it normal?
I thought I was in menopause because I haven't had a period in three years. But then last month, I suddenly got my period again. What's up? I'm 50 years old.
from Mary M. Gallenberg, M.D.
Menopause is the end of menstruation. In clinical terms, you reach menopause when you haven't had a period for 12 months.
Vaginal bleeding after menopause isn't normal and should be evaluated by your doctor.
For example, postmenopausal vaginal bleeding can be caused by:
- Thinning of the tissues lining the uterus (endometrial atrophy) or vagina (vaginal atrophy)
- Uterine fibroids
- Uterine polyps
- Infection of the uterine lining (endometritis)
- Medications such as hormone therapy and tamoxifen
- Pelvic trauma
- Bleeding from the urinary tract or rectum
- Cancer of the uterus, including endometrial cancer and uterine sarcoma
- Cancer of the cervix or vagina
The cause of your bleeding may be entirely harmless. However, postmenopausal bleeding could result from something serious, so it's important to see your doctor promptly.Next question
Bioidentical hormones: Are they safer?
- Perimenopausal bleeding and bleeding after menopause. American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists. http://www.acog.org/~/media/For%20Patients/faq162.ashx. Accessed July 2, 2012.
- AskMayoExpert. Abnormal uterine bleeding: Postmenopausal women. Rochester, Minn.: Mayo Foundation for Medical Education and Research; 2012.
- Stiles M, et al. Gynecologic issues in geriatric women. Journal of Women's Health. 2012;21:4.
- Ferri FF. Ferri's Clinical Advisor 2013: 5 Books in 1. Philadelphia, Pa.: Mosby Elsevier; 2012. http://www.mdconsult.com/books/about.do?about=true&eid=4-u1.0-B978-0-323-08373-7..C2010-0-68318-0&isbn=978-0-323-08373-7&uniqId=343774018-5. Accessed July 3, 2012.
- What you need to know about cancer of the uterus: Symptoms. National Cancer Institute. http://www.cancer.gov/cancertopics/wyntk/uterus/page5. Accessed July 6, 2012.
- What you need to know about cervical cancer: Symptoms. National Cancer Institute. http://www.cancer.gov/cancertopics/wyntk/cervix/page5. Accessed July 6, 2012.
- General information about vaginal cancer. National Cancer Institute. http://www.cancer.gov/cancertopics/pdq/treatment/vaginal/Patient. Accessed July 6, 2012.