Postmenopausal bleeding (PMB) is bleeding from the vagina that happens after a woman has stopped having regular menstrual periods due to
menopause. Any vaginal bleeding that occurs 12 months after a woman’s last menstrual period is considered PMB.
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PMB may be caused by several factors. These may include:
Some medical conditions and medications you take can increase your chances of having PMB.
Vaginal bleeding is a symptom of PMB. Your doctor can determine what condition is causing the bleeding and whether it is serious. If you have PMB, you should see your doctor.
You will be asked about your symptoms and medical history. A physical exam will be done.
Tests will be done to find the cause of the bleeding. Tests include:
Your doctor may need cell and tissue samples. This can be done with:
- Cervical cancer screening
- Endometrial biopsy
Talk with your doctor about the best treatment plan for you. The first priority is ruling out cancer. Treatment will depend on the findings of your tests and the cause of the bleeding. For instance, if your tests show signs of cancer, you will be referred to an oncologist, a doctor who specializes in treating cancer.
PMB cannot be prevented.
American Congress of Obstetricians and Gynecologists
Office on Women's Health—US Department of Health and Human Services
The Society of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists of Canada
American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists (ACOG) Committee Opinion on role of transvaginal ultrasonography in evaluation of postmenopausal bleeding.
Obstet Gynecol. 2009;113(2):462.
Gale A, Dey P. Postmenopausal bleeding.
Menopause Int. 2009;15(4):160-164.
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http://www.acog.org/~/media/For%20Patients/faq162.pdf?dmc=1&ts=20121221T1430328285. Updated May 2011. Accessed March 18, 2014.
Postmenopausal bleeding. EBSCO DynaMed website. Available at:
http://www.ebscohost.com/dynamed. Updated May 17, 2012. Accessed March 18, 2014.
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http://www.radiologyinfo.org/en/info.cfm?pg=hysterosono. Updated July 16, 2013. Accessed March 18, 2014.
11/5/2014 DynaMed's Systematic Literature Surveillance
http://www.ebscohost.com/dynamed: Khati NJ, Glanc P, et al. ACR Appropriateness Criteria abnormal vaginal bleeding [online publication]. Reston (VA: American College of Radiology (ACR); 2014. 13 p. Available at: https://acsearch.acr.org/docs/69458/Narrative/. Accessed November 5, 2014.