Bleeding after menopause can undoubtedly catch you by surprise. If you’re reading this you may be asking yourself: Is light spotting normal during menopause? Light blood spotting after menopause can have a variety of causes ranging in severity and should not be taken lightly, regardless of how light the spotting may seem. While some causes may be harmless, spotting after menopause may still require medical intervention. For example, light brown spotting after menopause may be the result of a yeast infection that may require a simple antifungal or antibiotic treatment. Bleeding after menopause can range in color, consistency, and flow. Flow may even range from very minimal spotting to a heavier flow that seems similar to a period. Regardless of how light or heavy the spotting is, it can disrupt your life—but it doesn’t have to. Keep reading to learn more about spotting after menopause and how to deal with it.
Why light spotting occurs after menopause
Spotting in the days of having a period is not uncommon. Because of this, spotting might not have raised high concern before. But now, your days of having a period are over and you’re experiencing spotting. While there are some causes that may be harmless to your overall health, there are some causes that can be quite serious. Here are some reasons you may be experiencing spotting after menopause:
1. Changes to the uterine lining: Your uterine lining can change based on hormone levels in the body. Your uterus responds to hormones, such as progesterone and estrogen, and after menopause, these hormone levels can fluctuate. Too much or too little of either can change the composition of your uterine lining, which may lead to bleeding or spotting. Two examples of this are:
Thinning of the uterine lining (Endometrial atrophy): This is when the tissue that lines your uterus is thinning due to low hormone levels after menopause. Typically, bleeding would occur if the lining gets too thin.
Thickening of the uterine lining (Endometrial hyperplasia): Thickening of the uterine lining may occur if you have too much estrogen and too little progesterone. The endometrium can get thicker and bleed. In this case, cells produced in the endometrium can become abnormal and even cancerous.
2. Polyps: Polyps are a type of tissue growth that can show up on your cervix, or inside your cervical canal or uterus. While typically not cancerous, these growths can cause spotting or bleeding.
3. Thinning of Vaginal Tissue (Vaginal Atrophy): As previously mentioned, your hormone levels can change after menopause. One of the things that may occur is vaginal walls becoming dry, thin, or inflamed due to low estrogen levels. This thinning can lead to bleeding or spotting after sex
4. Cancer: Bleeding is the most common symptom of endometrial or uterine cancer post-menopause. Other cancers include vaginal or cervical cancer. We would never want you to jump to the worst case scenario, but this emphasizes the importance of getting in to see your doctor if you’re experiencing light blood spotting after menopause.
5. Medications: Some hormone therapies, blood thinners, etc, have the ability to cause spotting or bleeding.
6. Sexually Transmitted Diseases: Various sexually transmitted diseases have been known to cause spotting or bleeding after sex.
Are any of these causes something you want to be dealing with? Likely not. But, some are more serious than others, so if you’re experiencing spotting or bleeding after menopause, see your doctor to rule out any of the more serious causes sooner than later!
Is light spotting normal after menopause?
You may be wondering if light spotting is normal after menopause. In short, the answer is no—it’s not considered normal to experience spotting of any nature after menopause. While some causes may turn out to be harmless, some spotting or bleeding after menopause can be quite serious. It may feel instinctual to brush off occasional spotting, but don’t ignore it, as it may be caused by something you would not want to ignore.
What does postmenopausal light spotting look like?
Just as the causes for postmenopausal spotting range, what it looks like may vary, as well. If you are experiencing spotting, it can range from a lighter pinkish-gray color all the way to what seems like a period all over again. Regardless of what your spotting looks like, your healthcare provider will likely want to do some form of exam to rule out the more serious causes of the bleeding.
Can stress cause spotting after menopause?
Stress can impact our bodies in so many ways, but whether stress is a direct cause for post-menopausal spotting is undetermined. Of course, stressing about your post-menopausal spotting won’t make it any better, so we recommend trying to stay calm as you get to the bottom of it.
When should you be concerned about spotting after menopause?
While causes for spotting after menopause may vary in severity, it’s not a good idea to wait for additional bleeding or symptoms to seek medical attention. After experiencing spotting, periods, or bleeding most of your life, you may not think twice about it now. But in the case of post-menopause spotting, you should take this symptom as a sign to see a medical provider promptly. While some causes of spotting after menopause may be less concerning, you will want to rule out right away whether the cause of yours is something more severe, such as cancer. In a nutshell? The “wait and see” approach is not advised for this scenario. Give yourself peace of mind and seek a medical professional’s opinion as soon as possible.
Can a yeast infection cause bleeding after menopause?
Suffering from a yeast infection at any point can leave you more prone to bleeding. A yeast infection causes vaginal inflammation, which can lead to uncomfortable symptoms ranging from itching and swelling to pain and bleeding. A yeast infection may also cause a brown-colored discharge.
Tips for managing postmenopausal light spotting
So, you are experiencing postmenopausal light spotting—what do you do? First things first: Don’t panic. Panicking won’t do you or your body any good. You should certainly give your doctor a call, and get an appointment to identify what is causing the spotting. Regardless of the cause, we know a few things about spotting: It's no fun, it can come and go (leaving you feeling vulnerable in public), and worst of all, it can cause less than ideal odors (especially if the spotting you are experiencing is due to an infection). For women looking to effectively manage postmenopausal spotting, try Proof’s leakproof thongs or briefs. Proof delivers comfortable leakproof underwear in a variety of styles. You can even browse styles based on how heavy your spotting is. Choose the styles you love and enjoy a 60-day leak-free guarantee.
The Last Word
You thought your days of bleeding were over, and suddenly you’re experiencing spotting. It’s easy to be alarmed, but it’s important to stay calm. Post-menopausal bleeding can be very serious, but can also be caused by something completely harmless. While you will want to get medical attention if needed, you will also need to find a way to go about your day-to-day life with post-menopausal bleeding. So, here’s the secret: Proof leakproof underwear. Proof can completely transform your idea of leakproof underwear. Our undies are the furthest thing from bulky pads and adult diapers. They’re breathable, buttery-soft microfiber panties with a multi-layer Leak-Loc system that provides invisible protection.
Find your spot on the path to a leak free life, shop Proof leakproof undies now!