Menopause is referred to the time in a woman’s life when her regular menstrual cycles stop. This also marks the time when she loses her ability to bear children. This phase for women brings about a lot of changes emotionally and physically. Women experience Hot flushes, fall in libido, irritation and mood swings.
Vaginal Dryness or Atrophic vaginitis is a common issue that is fallout of menopause, though there can be other reasons or times too when vaginal dryness happens. Occasional bleeding is also not unheard of after the menopause. Let us discuss these causes.
Vaginal Dryness And Bleeding Causes
Low Oestrogen leading To Atrophic Vaginitis
Oestrogen is a female hormone that is produced by ovaries. This hormone produces mucus and fluids around the vaginal walls. This keeps the vagina elastic and moist. The onset of menopause lessens the production of oestrogen and therefore, the elasticity around vagina is reduced.
Also, the mucus build up decreases leading to dryness of vagina. This can lead to pain during intercourse and soreness of vagina. Hormone Replacement Therapy i.e. HRT is recommended in extreme cases of dryness. However, most of the time over the counter lubricants can help alleviate the problem of dryness.
Post- Menopausal Bleeding Post
Menopausal vaginal bleeding is said to have happened, if there is a vaginal bleeding after twelve months of reaching Menopause. The various causes are mentioned below.
Intercourse During Atrophic Vaginitis
Menopause brings along vaginal dryness. Intercourse during this time can erode the walls of vagina thereby making it look like bleeding.
Usually this bleeding stops as soon as it starts. Use of lubricants can help. However, repeated injury and inflammation can lead to other vaginal infections.
Infection And Sexually Transmitted Disease
Fungal or bacterial infection can lead to bleeding. Infections like Chlamydia or bacterial vaginosis usually causes bleeding as well as unusual, foul smelling thick discharge. If you have had unprotected intercourse with someone then the possibility of STDs or sexually transmitted diseases like gonorrhoea, chlamydia etc cannot be ruled out which may have caused the bleeding.
Fibroids Or Polyps
Fibroids or polyps usually are benign flesh growth like tumour. They are very common amongst mid and old aged women. Therefore, women reaching menopause are most likely to have these.
Normally fibroids themselves do not cause bleeding. But depending on the location of fibroids in cervix and uterus, intercourse may cause mild bleeding.
The major symptom of cervical cancer is bleeding. Every sexually active woman must get herself checked at least ones in an year for cervical cancer. The test is a very simple two minutes procedure called pap smear test. If caught on early stages, the cancer can be completely eliminated and save life. Pap smear test must be performed even if there are no symptoms since they appear very late in case of cervical cancer.
The causes of vaginal bleeding can be symptoms of other problems, some serious and some regular. However, the post menopausal vaginal bleeding should never be ignored and doctor be consulted for thorough check up and tests. Vaginal dryness is another common result of menopause and use of lubricants and in extreme cases HRT can help this condition.