I am 52 years of age and I have been on HRT for a while and haven’t had a period for nearly a year but started bleeding again, what does this mean?

This is in fact quite common and it sometimes can be simply the hormone systems ‘last hurrah’. This is where the FSH, follicle-stimulating hormones in the brain that stimulate the secretion of oestrogen give one last push and the ovaries that have lay dormant come back to life and this causes ovulation again. Women can experience many of the common symptoms of their normal period cycle e.g. tender breasts, changes in moods and feeling bloated. I would advise my patient in this scenario to have a scan and a smear test, just to air on the side of caution if they haven’t had any check-ups.

We do advise women to take contraception as a precaution. As a rule of thumb, women over 51 are in full menopause if they haven’t had a period for a full year after their last one. If this isn’t the case, then contraception is advised.

Author: Ms Tania Adib, Consultant Gynaecologist

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