Ask the Nurse

I am a 55 year old female with a normal menstrual history from age 13 through age 50ish. The last couple of years, my menstruation has been more frequent and heavier. It stopped for six months before last October, then once in October and once in January. Then I had a bit of spotting, then nothing for five months. Five days ago, I had a heavy flow start. In April, at my normal pap exam, my doctor thought she saw something, so I was sent for a follow up with a sonogram. The doctor at the sonogram appointment thought she saw something as well, so she referred me to an oncologist who recommended removing everything. I went for a second opinion with an equally qualified top doctor who said the previous physicians read the sonogram incorrectly and everything was fine. This physician did a cervical biopsy, which came back negative. I have been experiencing extreme stress this past month, could that have been the cause of my recent bleeding?

Anytime a woman is over the age 40-45 and skips menses for several months and then bleeds, uterine cancer needs to be ruled out. You need to have the following tests done:

  • Pelvic exam
  • Pap smear
  • Endometrial (not cervical) biopsy
  • Hormone assessment

Stress is not the cause of vaginal bleeding. Cancer, pre-cancer, hormone imbalance, infection, polyps, fibroids and atrophy/thinness are all causes of bleeding. It is not clear whether you are in menopause or peri-menopause. I would recommend you gather all of your records and see a menopause specialist.

All My Best,
Speaking of Women's Health Nurse

August 30, 2013 at 11:32am