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Postmenopausal bleeding

Menopause is usually diagnosed in women over 45 who have not had a period for more than a year. Any bleeding from the vagina after this time needs to be checked by a GP.

Non-urgent advice: See a GP if you have postmenopausal bleeding, even if:

  • it's only happened once
  • there's only a small amount of blood, spotting, or pink or brown discharge
  • you do not have any other symptoms
  • you're not sure if it's blood

Postmenopausal bleeding is not usually serious, but can be a sign of cancer. Cancer is easier to treat if it's found early.

What happens at your GP appointment

The GP should refer you to hospital or a special postmenopausal bleeding clinic. You should not have to wait more than 2 weeks to see a specialist.

What happens at your hospital or clinic appointment

A specialist, who may be a nurse, will offer you tests to help find out what's causing the bleeding and plan any necessary treatment.

The tests may include:

Causes of postmenopausal bleeding

There can be several causes of postmenopausal bleeding.

The most common causes are:

Less commonly, postmenopausal bleeding is caused by cancer, such as ovarian and womb cancer.

Treatment for postmenopausal bleeding

Treatment depends on what's causing your bleeding.