Can fibroids cause bleeding after menopause? We’ll find out more about their effects, and explore other possible causes of postmenopausal bleeding.
Fibroids are a surprisingly common condition affecting women of all ages.
But what are they?
Can fibroids cause bleeding after menopause?
And what else might be going on?
Let’s take a look.
In this article: 📝
- What are fibroids?
- Can fibroids cause vaginal bleeding after menopause?
- What are the symptoms of uterine fibroids after menopause?
- Are fibroids cancerous after menopause?
- What is the most common reason for bleeding after menopause?
- Can fibroids cause bleeding after menopause? The bottom line
What are fibroids?
Fibroids are a type of tumor — i.e., an abnormal growth of tissue — that develops in the uterus.
They’re made out of muscle tissue and can be as small as a pea or as big as a melon.
The good news is they’re almost always non-cancerous.
They’re the most common type of tumor in women.
The chance of developing them at some time in our lives is around 70 percent.
Most women with fibroids develop them in their 30’s or 40’s.
For some, they go completely unnoticed.
But they can also cause symptoms including:
- Longer and heavier periods
- Pain in the abdomen or lower back
- Needing to pee more often
- Uncomfortable or painful sex
Because fibroids can be big or small, and in any part of the uterus, symptoms can vary a lot.
But if you have them, you don’t need to suffer alone.
Check out our support group, You, Me & Fibroids, to share experiences and find advice.
Can fibroids cause vaginal bleeding after menopause?
It’s very rare for fibroids to cause bleeding after menopause.
Usually fibroids get smaller after menopause, when levels of estrogen and progesterone drop.
In most cases, that means symptoms either ease up or stop altogether.
In rare cases, fibroids bleeding after menopause is caused by the fibroid pushing into the uterus.
If you have this type of fibroid, it’s possible you may not have even noticed that you’re in menopause because the bleeding from the fibroid might seem like a period.
The average age of menopause is 51.
So if you have a history of fibroids, are nearing menopause age, and are not sure whether your bleeding is fibroids or a period, check with your doctor.
What are the symptoms of uterine fibroids after menopause?
In 70 to 90 per cent of cases, lower hormone levels after menopause mean smaller fibroids and reduced symptoms.
But sometimes fibroids degenerate and calcify (harden).
That’s more common for fibroids in postmenopausal women.
And calcified fibroids can also cause abdominal pain and other issues.
The only way to know for sure whether you have calcified fibroids is to have a pelvic scan.
That could be an MRI, CT scan, or ultrasound.
If your fibroids are causing bleeding or pain after menopause, it’s possible to get fibroid removal surgery or even a hysterectomy.
If you’re concerned, the best thing to do is give your doctor a call.
Are fibroids cancerous after menopause?
Fibroids are almost always non-cancerous, whether you have them before or after menopause.
The chances of a fibroid being cancerous are less than one in a thousand.
But if you’re experiencing bleeding or other symptoms, speak to a doctor.
They’ll be able to investigate the cause and advise on treatment.
What is the most common reason for bleeding after menopause?
So can fibroids cause bleeding after menopause?
Yes, but it’s rare.
And there are a number of more likely causes.
The most common reasons for postmenopausal bleeding are:
These are growths similar to fibroids, but they’re made of uterine lining tissue (aka endometrium) instead of muscle.
They usually aren’t cancerous.
Genitourinary Syndrome of Menopause (GSM)
This condition was previously known as vaginal atrophy.
It’s when the lining of your vagina or uterus gets thinner or inflamed, usually because of lower estrogen levels.
A thickened uterine lining
This can be caused by hormone replacement therapy, being overweight, or having higher estrogen levels.
In rarer cases, though, bleeding can be the result of ovarian or uterine cancer.
So it’s important to see your doctor as soon as possible.
They can carry out tests to get to the root cause.
And whatever the problem, catching it early means the best chance of successful treatment.
Can fibroids cause bleeding after menopause? The bottom line
Fibroids can cause a range of different symptoms, and everyone’s experience is different.
The bottom line is if you’re bleeding after menopause, don’t ignore it.
It’s most likely nothing to worry about.
But in the unlikely event of a more serious problem, early action means the best possible chance of successful treatment.