A woman’s menstrual cycle stops permanently during menopause. Menopause begins from the age of 45 to 55 years, with 51 being the average menopause age.
On the other hand, perimenopause is the years prior to the onset of menopause. The word means “around menopause.” The perimenopause years can last anything from 1 to 10 years. Women experience changes in hormonal levels during perimenopause.
The hormonal changes impact ovulation, leading to changes in your menstrual cycle. So, how long can perimenopausal bleeding last? Shorter cycles can be two or three days shorter than a normal cycle while longer cycles go beyond 36 days. Generally, perimenopausal bleeding can last 1 to 10 years before menopause.
Changes that Occur in Women’s Menstrual Cycle during Perimenopause
The increase and decrease of estrogen and progesterone hormone levels in the body during a normal menstrual cycle is regular. Ovulation takes place in the middle of the menstrual cycle while menstruation ensues almost a couple of weeks later.
However, hormonal levels in menstrual cycles during perimenopause aren’t regular. This results in irregular spotting or bleeding. It means your period may be shorter and lighter in one month and longer and heavier in another month. You’re likely to miss your periods on some months, with the number of days between periods decreasing or increasing.
Signs of Abnormal Perimenopausal Bleeding Patterns
If you notice any bleeding after menopause, it’s abnormal. Seek medical attention for a remedy. Although perimenopause comes with irregular periods, abnormal perimenopausal bleeding points to an underlying health problem. Here’re signs that signify abnormal bleeding in your menstrual cycle to look out for:
Bleedings that’s longer than normal; for instance, perimenopausal bleeding for 2 months
Bleeding that is more regular than every 3 weeks
Bleeding post sexual intercourse or between menstrual periods
What Causes Perimenopausal Bleeding?
The three major causes of abnormal perimenopausal bleeding patterns include:
Polyps – noncancerous growths from endometrium-like tissues lining the uterus. They attach to the endometrial surface or uterine wall, leading to heavy or irregular bleeding. Polyps growing on the cervical canal or cervix results in bleeding post sex.
Endometrial atrophy – low estrogen levels thins the endometrium after menopause, a condition known as endometrial atrophy. Further thinning of the lining may result in abnormal bleeding.
Endometrial hyperplasia –unlike endometrial atrophy, hyperplasia results from high levels of estrogen and low levels of progesterone. The uterus lining thickens, leading to heavy or irregular bleeding. In atypical hyperplasia, the cells lining the uterus become abnormal, hence the risk of cancer. However, early diagnosis and treatment prevents the cells from becoming cancerous. Bleeding can signify endometrial cancer post menopause.
Treatment: How to Stop Perimenopausal Bleeding
The following tests are used to diagnose perimenopausal bleeding, the first step to treatment:
Dilation and curettage (D&C)
Treatments can stop perimenopausal bleeding. The right treatment depends on the cause of the bleeding.
Surgery – Polyps or growths are removed through a surgical procedure.
Medication – Medication is ideal for treating endometrial atrophy.
Progestin Therapy – The therapy is ideal for endometrial hyperplasia treatment. It involves shedding of the endometrium to stop bleeding.
Hysteroscopy or D&C can be used for removal of thickened endometrium lining in endometrial hyperplasia.
Endometrial biopsies – Endometrial hyperplasia increases the risk of developing cancer of the endometrium. The biopsy treats the hyperplasia completely to prevent recurrence.– The surgery is used to remove cancerous lymph nodes and endometrial cancerous cells or growth.
How to Stop Perimenopausal Bleeding Naturally
According to Healthline.com, you can keep yourself hydrated; eat foods rich in vitamin C (broccoli, red and green peppers, etc.) and iron (lean beef, spinach, chicken and turkey, etc.) or cook in cast-iron pots to stop heavy bleeding naturally. Supplements such as vitamin C, iron and blackstrap molasses can help stop perimenopausal bleeding.
Disclaimer: this is not medical advice, does not take the place of medical advice from your physician, and is not intended to treat or cure any disease. Patients should see a qualified medical provider for assessment and treatment.