HysterSisters Articles for Hysterectomy
Bleeding/Spotting Many Years after Hysterectomy
From the GYN Cancer Articles List
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What could cause vaginal bleeding/spotting many years after my hysterectomy?
First of all, if you are experiencing heavy, bright red bleeding, go immediately to an emergency room.
Some women experience vaginal bleeding or spotting many months or years after their hysterectomy—even as much as 25 years or more post-op. This can cause understandable concern, particularly for those who are cancer survivors.
Some reasons for vaginal bleeding that HysterSisters have experienced include vaginal dryness, “mini periods,” menopause, and insufficient hormone replacement therapy. Vaginal dryness, a common side effect of hysterectomy, makes vaginal tissues thinner and more prone to bleeding from sexual intercourse or other irritations. One can even develop fissures, or cracks, in dry vaginal tissues that cause bleeding. “Mini periods” can continue if you had a subtotal hysterectomy and the cervix was retained. Essentially, a tiny portion of uterus remains, and as the ovaries continue to cycle, that small piece of uterus continues to shed lining just as before. Menopause also still comes to those who have had hysterectomies but retained one or more ovaries, and the hormonal changes might cause vaginal dryness and slight spotting from time to time. Similarly, hormone imbalances from insufficient HRT can cause the same types of issues.
Any unexplained bleeding warrants a trip to the doctor, just to be sure. Even if there is no pain and spotting is light, you will want to rule out cancer or precancerous conditions for your peace of mind. A quick pap smear or biopsy will let you know if any abnormal cells are present and further investigation is required. If it is simply vaginal dryness, estrogen cream or lubricants might solve your slight bleeding easily. Silver nitrate treatments applied by your gynecologist directly to bleeding tissues can also clear up the problem quickly.
This content was written by staff of HysterSisters.com by non-medical professionals based on discussions, resources and input from other patients for the purpose of patient-to-patient support.
08-29-2011 - 12:49 AM
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