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What causes long and scanty periods?

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I am a 52 year old women and a approximately a year and a half ago my periods started varying (long time between the periods, up to 3 months, and then 2 periods in a month and similar). Now Imy periods are longer, but very, very weak. I do not even have to change my pad for a whole day, and sometimes there is literally nothing on the pad, but when I go to urinate or have a bowel movement in the morning, there is blood on the toilet paper , and a little bit more leaks . It is almost as if my periods have limited itself : no leaks, or dripping, except when i wipe myself. I have no pain or anything. I visited my gynecologist 2 months ago and he examined me and said that everything felt normal. He did not take my pap smear, because I always had a normal pap smear (once a year), and last year he told me that at this point I can take 2 years between pap smears. I also had in the past several years 2 ultra sound (trans vaginal), and they were normal. Please, what is your comment and maybe a piece of advice on this. Thank you in advance
Posted Tue, 25 Feb 2014 in Women's Health
Answered by Dr. Saul Weinreb 8 minutes later
Brief Answer: Thank you for using XXXXXXX I would love to help Detailed Answer: The pattern of bleeding that you describe is extremely common in women your age, and is almost certainly a normal result of menopause. During menopause, bleeding patterns change and they can be abnormal in many ways, sometimes heavier, sometimes lighter, sometimes longer, sometimes shorter. This is normal and nothing needs to be done about it. Your doctor is right about not needing annual pap smears anymore given your history of normal pap smears, every 2-3 years should be fine. Soon, you will find that three or four months will go by without a period, and you will no longer have periods at all, and that stage of life will be over. You may or may not have the other symptoms of menopause such as hot flashes, mood swings, etc... Not every women has those symptoms,but if you do and they are bothersome, you can talk to your doctor about your options for treating it. There are more rare conditions such as uterine hyperplasia which can lead to uterine cancer, but given your history it sounds unlikely. If these symptoms continue you may want to ask your gynecologist if he/she thinks it is necessary to get an ultrasound and/or a biopsy to check if that might be a problem. Most likely though, what you are experiencing is completely normal. I hope this was helpful, if you have any more questions, please let me know.
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