During menopause, the hormonal balance in the body changes and eventually menstruation stops. During this transition, you may find that your body behaves in a different way than you are used to. In this text, we explore the topic of menopause, menstruation and bleeding.
Menopause and heavy flow - when the periods stop
A change in your period and menstrual cycle is one of the first signs of menopause. Irregular bleeding and irregular periods, intermittent bleeding, clots and lumps in your period and missed periods are common changes. Initially, it is common for periods to be more frequent and longer, and then less frequent. It is not uncommon for periods to come three to four months apart and for periods to become heavier, but it can also feel like you are bleeding all the time. Heavy bleeding during the menopause before your period stops is common. If your periods are so heavy around the menopause that they affect your daily life, we recommend that you seek medical attention. When you have not had a period for more than a year, you can assume that your period has stopped and that you will not have any more periods, the last period is usually called menopause. The irregular, heavier and more frequent periods can last around three to four years before menopause.
Brown periods and brown discharge
Brown discharge or bleeding is common. This is because your period has started to oxidise. Brown blood has taken longer to leave the body than, for example, red blood and therefore has a different colour. Brown blood is therefore most common at the beginning or end of a period.
Bleeding after menopause
Post-menopausal bleeding is not necessarily dangerous but should be taken seriously, even occasional bleeding after the menopause should be looked out for. Bleeding after the menopause can be a sign of cervical cancer, so contact your health care provider if you have bleeding after the menopause.
Menstrual pain after the menopause
Having menstrual cramps without a period is not necessarily dangerous, but it is not normal and some women experience menstrual cramps and ovarian pain without having a period during the menopause. If you experience menstrual pain during the menopause, we recommend that you seek medical attention as it may be due to an underlying condition.