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Postmenopausal Bleeding

Overview :

Menopause, the end of ovulation and menstrual periods, naturally occurs for most women age 40-55 years. The process of ending ovulation and menstruation is gradual, spanning one to two years.

Postmenopausal bleeding is bleeding that occurs after menopause has been established for at least six months. It is different from infrequent, irregular periods (oligomenorrhea) that occur around the time of menopause.

Many women experience some postmenopausal bleeding. However, postmenopausal bleeding is not normal. Because it can be a symptom of a serious medical condition, any episodes of postmenopausal bleeding should be brought to the attention of a woman's doctor.

Women taking estrogen (called hormone replacement therapy or HRT) are more likely to experience postmenopausal bleeding. So are obese women, because fat cells transform male hormones (androgens) secreted by the adrenal gland into estrogen.

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