You are in menopause when your last period was at least 12 months ago. The average age for menopause in New Zealand is 50-51 years, but it can range between 40 and 60 years of age.
Any bleeding in the menopause is abnormal and needs to be investigated. Most of the time it is caused by fragile tissues (vagina, endometrium) due to absent estrogen production as the ovaries cease to ovulate eggs (genito-urinary syndrome of menopause and/or instability of the lining of the womb).
Endometrial hyperplasia and cancer may be the cause in 5-10% of cases, and if promptly attended to, treatment is highly successful.
What to do
If you experience bleeding in the menopause, you should see your GP as soon as possible.