“…about 90% of women experience 4 to 8 years of menstrual-cycle changes before their periods finally stop at menopause”.1

Umbrella
What may the Periods and Menopause Umbrella include?

Depending on the Source (DotS) this Umbrella may include:

  • Menstrual Cycle Changes/Symptoms
  • Menstrual Periods Changes/Symptoms
  • Monthly Period Changes/Symptoms
  • Period Changes/Symptoms

First Sign of Menopause Periods and Menopause

How can most women tell if they are approaching menopause?

According to the (United Kingdom) NHS (National Health Service:

“The first sign of the menopause is usually a change in the normal pattern of your periods”.2

Changes

Do periods simply stop or not?

Not usually. In Menopause FAQs: Menopause Symptoms – Q. I am bleeding more often and with heavier periods than I used to. I’m 45 years old. What’s wrong with me? the North American Menopause Society (NAMS) elaborate on:

“A. Probably nothing. As a woman reaches perimenopause, changes in menstrual flow and frequency are common. A few women simply stop menstruating one day and never have another period. But about 90% of women experience 4 to 8 years of menstrual-cycle changes before their periods finally stop at menopause. Most women report irregular periods. These are caused by erratic production of hormones by the ovaries and less frequent ovulation”.3

In Menopause: Symptoms – Changes To Your Periods the NHS explain:

Periods and Menopause

“You may start having either unusually light or heavy periods.

The frequency of your periods may also be affected. You may have them every 2 or 3 weeks, or you may not have them for months at a time.

Eventually, you’ll stop having periods altogether”.4

Pregnant or Not

Is it possible to become pregnant when skipping periods?

Yes. In Menopause: Symptoms & Causes – Symptoms the (United States) Mayo Clinic explain:

“Skipping periods during perimenopause is common and expected. Often, menstrual periods will skip a month and return, or skip several months and then start monthly cycles again for a few months. Periods also tend to happen on shorter cycles, so they are closer together. Despite irregular periods, pregnancy is possible. If you’ve skipped a period but aren’t sure you’ve started the menopausal transition, consider a pregnancy test”.5

Postmenopausal Bleeding

Is postmenopausal bleeding or bleeding after menopause, normal?

No. According to the (Australian) Jean Hailes for Women’s Health (JH):

“It is important to note that women who have gone through the menopause should not have any vaginal bleeding/spotting. If this occurs, see your doctor”.6

Menstrual Calendar

Where may I find a menstrual calendar to keep a record of my periods?

In MenoNotes the North American Menopause Society (NAMS) include:

Health Care Provider

What if my periods are changing?

If your periods are changing, it may be in your best interest to choose to ask your health care provider about this.

In Menopause FAQs: Menopause Symptoms – Q. I am bleeding more often and with heavier periods than I used to. I’m 45 years old. What’s wrong with me? the NAMS explain:

“A. …But, it should not be assumed that any abnormal bleeding is simply a part of normal menopause. Most of the time it is, but abnormal uterine bleeding can be a sign of other problems such as fibroids, polyps, infections, and even cancer. It’s always best to be evaluated by a healthcare provider if the bleeding is very heavy or prolonged”.7

In Menstrual Calendar the NAMS also note:

“Call your health care provider if you experience:

  • Periods that are much heavier than usual
  • Spotting or bleeding between periods
  • Periods that last longer than 10 days
  • Bleeding after sex
  • Frequent periods (fewer than 21 days between periods)
  • Any bleeding after menopause”.8

In Menopause, Perimenopause, and Postmenopause: Living With – How Do I Know If Changes In My Periods Are Normal Perimenopausal Symptoms or Something To Be Concerned About? the (United States) Cleveland Clinic explain:

“Irregular periods are common and normal during perimenopause (the menopause transition). But other conditions can cause abnormalities in menstrual bleeding. If any of the following situations apply to you, see a doctor to rule out other causes.

  • Your periods are changing to become very heavy, or accompanied by blood clots
  • Your periods last several days longer than usual
  • You spot or bleed after your period
  • You experience spotting after sex
  • Your periods occur closer together”.9

In About the Menstrual Cycle the JH also note:

“When To See Your Doctor

There are many reasons you might need to see your doctor about your periods including:

  • Changes in the pattern of your periods
  • Increasingly heavy periods
  • Long periods of more than eight days
  • Periods that come fewer than three weeks apart
  • Periods coming more than two to three months apart
  • Painful periods that cause you to stay home
  • Bleeding between periods
  • Bleeding after intercourse

Your menstrual cycle is a normal process for your body. Each woman experiences her menstrual cycle differently, most without any difficulties. If there is any change in your cycle that worries you, see your doctor”.10

Health Topics A-Z

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Sources

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Sources

  1. Menopause FAQs: Menopause Symptoms – Q. I am bleeding more often and with heavier periods than I used to. I’m 45 years old. What’s wrong with me? North American Menopause Society https://www.menopause.org/for-women/menopause-faqs-menopause-symptoms Accessed: 03 August 2020
  2. Menopause: Symptoms – Changes To Your Periods. Page Last Reviewed: 29 August 2018. NHS (National Health Service) https://www.nhs.uk/conditions/menopause/symptoms/#changes-to-your-periods Accessed: 03 August 2020
  3. Menopause FAQs: Menopause Symptoms – Q. I am bleeding more often and with heavier periods than I used to. I’m 45 years old. What’s wrong with me? North American Menopause Society https://www.menopause.org/for-women/menopause-faqs-menopause-symptoms Accessed: 03 August 2020
  4. Menopause: Symptoms – Changes To Your Periods. Page Last Reviewed: 29 August 2018. NHS (National Health Service) https://www.nhs.uk/conditions/menopause/symptoms/#changes-to-your-periods Accessed: 03 August 202
  5. Menopause: Symptoms & Causes – Symptoms. 07 August 2017. Mayo Clinic https://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/menopause/symptoms-causes/syc-20353397 Accessed: 03 August 2020
  6. Heavy Bleeding: What Causes Heavy Bleeding? Last Updated: 20 March 2020 | Last Reviewed: 10  July 2018. Jean Hailes for Women’s Health https://jeanhailes.org.au/health-a-z/periods/heavy-bleeding Accessed: 03 August 2020
  7. Menopause FAQs: Menopause Symptoms – Q. I am bleeding more often and with heavier periods than I used to. I’m 45 years old. What’s wrong with me? North American Menopause Society https://www.menopause.org/for-women/menopause-faqs-menopause-symptoms Accessed: 03 August 2020
  8. Menstrual Calendar. 2015. North American Menopause Society https://www.menopause.org/docs/default-source/2015/menonote-menstrual-calendar-english.pdf Accessed: 03 August 2020
  9. Menopause, Perimenopause, and Postmenopause: Living With – How Do I Know If Changes In My Periods Are Normal Perimenopausal Symptoms or Something To Be Concerned About? This Document Was Last Reviewed on: 24 December 2019. Cleveland Clinic https://my.clevelandclinic.org/health/diseases/15224-menopause-perimenopause-and-postmenopause/living-with Accessed: 03 August 2020
  10. About the Menstrual Cycle: When To See Your Doctor. Last Updated: 03 March 2020 | Last Reviewed: 10 July 2018. Jean Hailes for Women’s Health https://www.jeanhailes.org.au/health-a-z/periods/about-the-menstrual-cycle Accessed: 03 August 2020

Topic Last Updated: 03 August 2020 – Topic Last Reviewed: 03 August 2020
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