Don’t ignore bleeding in menopause, it could be sign of cancer, gynaecologist tells older women


Angela Onwuzoo 

A Professor of Obstetrics and Gynaecology at the Ahmadu Bello University, Zaria, Solomon Avidime, has said that older women who are still bleeding when they should be in their menopause should be thoroughly evaluated for cancers.

Bleeding by menopausal women, he cautioned, should not be taken lightly.

Prof. Avidime noted that women that have abnormal bleeding have to be thoroughly evaluated by a doctor to establish the exact cause of the bleeding, noting that the causes are diverse.

The causes, the expert said, range from causes around the uterus to causes that are outside the uterus.

The gynecologist who disclosed this during an interview with PUNCH Healthwise said women who are experiencing abnormal bleeding should seek help from health experts rather than go to unorthodox places.

According to the American College of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists, abnormal uterine bleeding is bleeding from the uterus that differs in frequency, regularity, duration, or amount from normal uterine bleeding in the absence of pregnancy.

Prof. Avidime also stated that women and girls experiencing abnormal bleeding should be worried, noting that a woman that is bleeding abnormally could go into shock because her blood level is depleting faster than it should.

The gynaecologist said, “Once the menses come more than once a month, women should see their doctor for evaluation.”

“Young women should talk to their doctor to know why they are bleeding abnormally. Older women have to worry because cancer can be an important cause.

“Cancer can be in the cervix, it can also be in the womb. Cancer should be a concern to older women who are experiencing bleeding.

“Older women who are still bleeding when they should be in their menopause should be thoroughly evaluated for cancers. It should not be taken lightly. They must see a doctor quickly.

“So, every abnormal bleeding should be evaluated.”

The National Cancer Institute says women experiencing abnormal vaginal bleeding may undergo a transvaginal ultrasound, biopsy, or both, to determine if an endometrial tumor is a cause.

Speaking further with our correspondent, Prof. Avidime also said that a woman who is seeking pregnancy but is bleeding needs to go for an evaluation.

He advised women experiencing abnormal uterine bleeding to avoid self-medication, adding that they should also not go to traditional medicine practitioners to seek treatment.


According to him, some of the practitioners use toxic substances that could end up destroying their vaginas.

He warned that patronising traditional medicine practitioners in the management of abnormal uterine bleeding come with a lot of health consequences for the women.

In a 2018 study published in JAMA Internal Medicine, titled, “Association of Endometrial Cancer Risk With Postmenopausal Bleeding in Women. A Systematic Review and Meta-analysis”, the researchers said bleeding after menopause can be disconcerting.

“Early detection strategies focused on women with postmenopausal bleeding have the potential to capture as many as 90 percent of endometrial cancers; however, most women with postmenopausal bleeding will not be diagnosed with endometrial cancer.

“These results can aid in the assessment of the potential clinical value of new early detection markers and clinical management strategies for endometrial cancer and will help to inform clinical and epidemiologic risk prediction models to support decision making,” the authors said.

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