Menopause is the time after you have your last period. Because
your final periods can be irregular, menopause is confirmed 12
months after your last period. Bleeding or spotting after this
point is called postmenopausal bleeding (PMB).
Post-menopausal bleeding (PMB) represents one of the most common
reasons for referral to gynaecological services, largely due to
suspicion of an underlying endometrial malignancy. Women presenting
with postmenopausal bleeding will therefore be referred to our
rapid access clinics.
Most of the time, postmenopausal bleeding is caused by:
• inflammation and thinning of the lining of your vagina
(called atrophic vaginitis)
• thinning of the lining of your uterus
• growths in the cervix or uterus (called polyps) which are
usually not cancerous
• thickened endometrium (called endometrial hyperplasia) often
because of hormone replacement therapy (HRT)
• abnormalities in the cervix or uterus.
These are generally not serious problems and can be cured
However, about 10 per cent of the time, post-menopausal
bleeding is linked to cancer of the cervix or uterus and so it is
very important to have it investigated.
The aim therefore of the Rapid Access clinic is to provide the
highest quality evidence based service for all women. Referral will
be via the cancer two week urgent referral pathway.
Specialist staff who provide care include Consultants,
Specialist Nurse Hysteroscopists / Colposcopist and staff nurses.
They will perform preliminary diagnostics and ultrasound
Clinics are held at:
Bishop Auckland Hospital
Chester le Street Community Hospital
'As I was very, very nervous, I must have been the worst patient
ever and they were brilliant with me and I can't thank them enough
- could you please pass on my sincere thanks.'
Patient, Hysteroscopy Unit, Chester-le-Street Community