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What Are the Causes of Postmenopausal Bleeding?

Updated February 21, 2017

Many women consider the absence of menstruation to be a blessing after menopause. When they experience post-menopausal bleeding, it can cause a great deal of concern. There are several medical conditions that can lead to post-menopausal bleeding, and even some medications that may lead to unexpected bleeding after menopause.

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A sexually transmitted disease (STD), such as chlamydia or gonorrhoea, can cause post-menopausal bleeding. Other infections not related to STDs but still involving the cervix or the uterus can also cause unexpected bleeding. Streptococcus (a strep infection) or staphylococcus (a staph infection) are non-STD infections that can affect the uterus or cervix.


Uterine, ovarian and other types of cancer can all cause post-menopausal bleeding. If the cancer in is the reproductive organs, post-menopausal bleeding is more likely. However, all forms of cancer can cause fluctuations in hormone levels in the body, which can cause unexpected bleeding in women who have already gone through menopause.


Hormone therapy to alleviate other symptoms of menopause can lead to bleeding. The type of hormone therapy a women uses can affect the degree of abnormal bleeding, but most women will experience some amount of bleeding while on hormone therapy. Other types of medications, particularly those related to gland disorders, can also produce post-menopausal bleeding.


Cervical and uterine polyps can cause unexpected bleeding. A polyp is a growth that is normally not cancerous, although they can be a sign of cancer. A woman can have one or several polyps. They may need to be removed if they are painful or if they are causing a great deal of post-menopausal bleeding.

Other Medical Conditions

Some medical conditions affecting the uterus can cause bleeding. Endometrial hyperplasia, when the uterus grows a thick lining, and endometrial atrophy, when the lining of the uterus gets too thin, are both conditions that can cause post-menopausal bleeding. Other medical conditions affecting glands that produce hormones, such as the thyroid, can also cause unexpected bleeding after menopause.

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About the Author

Sophie Stillwell

Sophie Stillwell has been writing professionally since 1992. She is published in "The Gorham Times" newspaper, "Private Colleges & Universities" magazine, on eHow and in several other publications. She has experience working as a paralegal, antiques dealer and neurobehavioral coach. Her writing topics frequently include frugal living, pets and health. Stillwell holds a Bachelor of Arts in English from the University of Southern Maine.

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