Having a period after you have entered menopause can be confusing and frightening. You thought you were finally done with that time of the month, and all of a sudden it reappears. Does it mean something is wrong? Does it mean you really are not menopausal? According to Women to Women, 20 to 30 percent of post-menopausal women experience the occasional period. There are several reasons women may have periods after entering menopause, some serious and some not. It is important to see your doctor any time you have post-menopausal bleeding, however, understanding some of the reasons it happens can help alleviate your concerns.
It's Not Over Yet
One of the most common reasons women get a period after menopause is that they aren't yet fully menopausal. It can take a woman several years to reach complete menopause. Until a woman goes 12 complete months without having a period she is not considered fully menopausal. If you have skipped several months and then suddenly get your period, it probably means you are not yet fully menopausal.
It is not uncommon for a woman who has not had a period for 12 months to have a period occur. Though all bleeding after a 12-month lapse should be evaluated by a physician, it doesn't automatically mean something is wrong.
As a woman enters menopause, her estrogen levels begin to drop, which in turn causes the lining of her vagina to start the thinning process. A thin vagina is more at risk for injury through intercourse or other causes and can lead to bleeding. According to Women to Women, tears in the vagina commonly cause bleeding that resembles a period.
Less Common Reasons
Other reasons for post-menopausal bleeding include vaginal infections, fibroid tumors, uterine cancer, stress or rapid significant weight loss. Whenever you have gone more than 12 months without a period and then have one, it is important to have it evaluated by your physician. While it could be something that does not require treatment, if it is caused by something serious, early detection and treatment give you the best chance at a full recovery.
While there are many reasons for post-menopausal bleeding, there is always the possibility that it is caused by the development of abnormal cells on their way to becoming cancerous. Any time you have post-menopausal bleeding you should see a gynecologist to have it evaluated.