Postmenopausal bleeding: Don’t worry — but do call your doctor

Bleeding indicates cancer only in a small percentage of cases, even though endometrial cancers are on the rise in American women.

You've gone through menopause and you thought your periods were a thing of the past — but suddenly, you're bleeding again, more than a year after your last period.

Should you be concerned?

The good news, according to an analysis published in the September issue of JAMA Internal Medicine, is that most likely your bleeding is caused by a noncancerous condition, such as vaginal atrophy, uterine fibroids, or polyps. But the study also reinforces the idea that postmenopausal bleeding should always be checked out by your doctor to rule out endometrial cancer, a cancer of the uterine lining, says Dr. Ross Berkowitz, William H. Baker Professor of Gynecology at Harvard Medical School.

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