- 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)
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- Hormone replacement therapy: Cause of vaginal bleeding?
Hormone replacement therapy: Cause of vaginal bleeding?
I'm taking hormone therapy for menopause symptoms, and my monthly menstrual periods have returned. Is this normal?
from Mary M. Gallenberg, M.D.
Some forms of hormone replacement therapy for menopause may cause monthly bleeding. This includes cyclic hormone therapy preparations that contain a combination of estrogen and a progestin. The progestin is used to prevent endometrial cancer if you have an intact uterus.
Hormone replacement therapy can result in bleeding that may be light or may be as heavy as a normal period. If you have concerns about your bleeding, you should see your doctor or health care provider.
Potential causes of abnormal bleeding during or after menopause include:
- Thinning of the tissue lining the vagina and uterus due to a decrease in estrogen
- Uterine polyps or fibroids
- Infections of the uterus, such as endometritis and cervicitis
- Abnormal growth of the lining of the uterus (endometrial hyperplasia)
- Endometrial cancer
In addition to a careful history and physical examination, laboratory tests and diagnostic procedures may be used to identify the cause of abnormal bleeding in menopausal women.Next question
Bleeding after menopause: Is it normal?
- Grady D, et al. Menopause: Vasomotor symptoms. In: Goldman L, et al. Cecil Medicine. 24th ed. Philadelphia, Pa.: Saunders Elsevier; 2011. http://www.mdconsult.com/das/book/body/191371208-2/0/1492/0.html#. Accessed Aug. 26, 2011.
- Martin KA, et al. Preparations for postmenopausal hormone therapy. http://www.uptodate.com/home/index.html. Accessed Aug. 26, 2011.
- Goodman A. The evaluation and management of uterine bleeding in postmenopausal women. http://www.uptodate.com/home/index.html. Accessed Aug. 26, 2011.