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Changes in your menstrual cycle can begin to occur years before you have finally reached menopause. Perimenopausal means “around menopause”. During the time leading up to menopause, you may experience irregular periods. This can consist of a heavier, lighter, skipped, or just having a different amount of time in between each period. If you continue to have bleeding after menopause, your doctor will evaluate the reason and provide the matching treatment.

Polyps are small growths that are typically noncancerous. They can form in the lining of the uterus, on the endometrial wall, in the cervical canal, or on the cervix. To stop bleeding from polyps, they may need to be removed.

Endometrial atrophy occurs when the lining of the endometrium is left too thin after menopause due to low levels of estrogen, and can cause irregular bleeding. Medications provide relief from endometrial atrophy.

The opposite of endometrial atrophy, endometrial hyperplasia, occurs when the lining of the endometrium is left too thick by menopause. The danger of endometrial hyperplasia is that the cells can become abnormal, resulting in endometrial cancer. If diagnosed and treated early, the risk of cancer due to endometrial hyperplasia can be eliminated with regular biopsies and a hysterectomy – if the cells are found to be abnormal. Endometrial cancer is treated with removal of the uterus (hysterectomy).

For further insight, checkout acog.org’s FAQ page on perimenopausal bleeding and bleeding after menopause.