Menopausal Spotting or Bleeding During Menopause
Menopause is a natural part of aging for women. Occurring on average at around the age of 51, menopause may occur as early as the late thirties and as late as 60. The term ‘perimenopause’ is used to describe the period of time from the onset of menopausal symptoms to the point when the ovaries no longer create hormones or eggs. This period of time can last two to five years, and it’s really what is referred to as ‘menopause’ in most cases. During menopause, a wide range of symptoms occur. These include:
- Mood Swings
- Hot Flashes
- Weight Gain
- And More
Also, many women will begin to develop what is known as menopausal spotting or perimenopausal spotting. Over the course of menopause, periods will begin to occur less frequently until eventually they will cease altogether. In some cases monthly menses may actually stop completely as soon as menopause occurs. Cycles may shorten significantly as well, and normally heavy spotting will occur between periods.
Menopausal spotting occurs due to the same thing that triggers most menopause symptoms – hormonal imbalances. Menopause involves a serious fluctuation in the production of testosterone, progesterone, and estrogen and these hormonal imbalances cause the previously mentioned symptoms. They also cause the spotting that occurs between periods.
There are actually three main stages of spotting that can occur, and these stages correspond to the development of menopause itself. The three stages are:
- The moment a woman begins to experience changes in her period marks the beginning of perimenopause in most cases. Cycles often shorten to around a 24 day cycle or even less. Heavy spotting often occurs between periods during this stage.
- Cycles increase in time at this point, and periods will often occur every two months or even longer. Spotting will still occur in many cases, but it is usually much lighter.
- The final stages of menopause involve missing periods for three to eleven months at a time. During this final stage, spotting may increase in frequency and in intensity again and heavy spotting is nothing to be alarmed about.
While menstrual spotting is indeed common during menopause, it’s important to remember that some things may suggest a more serious condition. You’ll want to contact your physician if you experience any of the following:
- Much heavier bleeding than normal
- Menses cycle less than 24 days
- Pain during sex
- Bleeding during sex
- Bleeding lasting more than 14 days
A variety of different things may be causing your spotting to occur. In most cases it’s completely normal and will gradually fade away. Menopause can be a frustrating, confusing experience that is marked by a lot of challenges and side effects. This is just one more of them, and one more sign that your body is going through this major change. In nearly all cases, it’s nothing to worry about but if you are nervous about it or feel that something may not be normal, contacting your physician is always a good idea.