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    by Ngozi Osuagwu, MD | November 8th, 2015


    There is an age one reaches when you should not be seen in the aisle of the store that sells sanitary napkins or tampons unless of course you are buying it for someone other than yourself. The average age of menopause is 52 years old. You are considered menopausal when you have gone a full year without having a period. If you have a gone a full year without bleeding and you notice any amount of blood afterwards, this is considered postmenopausal bleeding and it needs to be investigated. You need to see a physician. You definitely should not be bleeding in your 60s or above.

    Although the average age of menopause is 52 years old, there will be women who will become menopausal in their 40s and then there are women who will continue to have menstrual cycles until their late 50s (this is a minority). The time prior to menopause is considered peri-menopausal and your menstrual cycle will change. For some women the cycle length meaning from the first day of one period until the first day of the next period may shorten or lengthen. It should not be shorter than 21 days.  The period should not last longer than 7 days.

    Unlike cervical cancer where we have the pap smear as a screening test or breast cancer where we have the mammogram as a screening test, there is no screening test for endometrial cancer. We rely on the patient telling us that they have abnormal bleeding. If you have any abnormal bleeding, you need to have a doctor’s visit.

    Abnormal bleeding includes:

                    Having your cycle length shorter than every 21 days

                    Bleeding lasting longer than 7 days

                    Bleeding after one year of no bleeding and you are at the age of menopause

                    Bleeding after sex

    Please call and schedule an appointment to see your doctor. Not all abnormal bleeding is due to cancer, but the only way to find out what is wrong is to get evaluated by a physician.

    A research study that came out this summer shows that endometrial cancer is on the rise in the U.S. and black women are more at risk. Please get evaluated as soon as possible if you have any abnormal bleeding. To learn more about endometrial cancer, please visit:


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