Postmenopausal bleeding a concern

Gynecologists are encouraging women to pay attention to their bodies and become increasingly aware of cancers involving the female reproductive organs. 

Recognizing possible symptoms of gynecologic cancers can lead to diagnosis and timely treatment, says Dr. Debra Richardson, a gynecologic oncologist at UT Southwestern Medical Center.

Women who have gone through menopause, for instance, should not experience any menstrual bleeding.  “Any bleeding – even spotting – after menopause is not normal and should be checked out by a gynecologist,” Dr. Richardson says.

Some common causes of postmenopausal bleeding include:

  • Polyps: Usually noncancerous, these growths can develop in the uterus, on the cervix or inside the cervical canal.
  • Endometrial atrophy: The tissue that lines the uterus can become very thin after menopause.
  • Endometrial hyperplasia: Sometimes the lining of the uterus becomes thick, usually due to too much estrogen and too little progesterone. Some patients may have abnormal cells that can lead to endometrial cancer.
  • Cancer: Bleeding after menopause can be a sign of endometrial or uterine cancer. Women who are obese are at higher risk of uterine cancer.

Visit http://www.utsouthwestern.org/obgyn to learn more about UT Southwestern’s clinical services for gynecology.

Media Contact: Robin Russell

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