When Mrs. Sohini Bhattacharya, a healthy, active 60-year old lawyer had a day of heavy bleeding, she came to Sitaram Bhartia in a state of panic. “I’d been menopausal for ten years, so heavy bleeding after menopause was a complete surprise. And of course I wasn’t prepared for it at all.”
Post Menopausal bleeding is not a commonly seen condition.
“Approximately 1 in 10 women have heavy bleeding after menopause” says Dr. Swati Sinha. “So it’s natural to feel a little worried. Even though Mrs. Bhattacharya only had heavy bleeding for one day, a check up was necessary.”
“Even if you experience spotting, a check up is required. “
Since Mrs. Bhattacharya was active, in good shape, and she had a normal physical examination, an ultrasound was advised. The ultrasound revealed a thickening of the inner lining of her uterus.
“The thickening of her lining could have resulted because of hormonal changes or because of a benign growth in the lining of the uterus called an endometrial polyp” says Dr. Swati.
“In rare cases, it’s due to uterine cancer and both result in spotting or bleeding after menopause.”
Sohini Bhattacharya was suggested a minor procedure called a hysteroscopy wherein the cavity of the uterus is visualized on screen using a telescope-like instrument to ascertain and treat the cause of bleeding.
“Sohini’s hysteroscopy did not reveal a polyp so we just took a biopsy from the lining of the uterus” explains Dr. Swati.
“When we got the biopsy report 4 days later, we saw that she only had a hormonal change.”
However, since cancer of the uterus may be found in approximately 1 in 10 women with postmenopausal bleeding, you should be thoroughly investigated in case of bleeding after menopause.
Mrs. Bhattacharya was reassured that her biopsy report was fine but she needed to be on strict follow-up because of heavy bleeding after menopause. At her 3-month check-up, her ultrasound reports came back normal and she continued with her active and healthy lifestyle.
Mrs. Bhattacharya had done the right thing by not ignoring her bleeding after menopause and seeking early medical advice.