Bleeding Problems: Investigations
Sometimes heavy bleeding can simply be part of a normal menopausal transition. If, however, the change is sudden, or you become anaemic, it is important that you visit your GP. The GP will, of course, ask you some questions, examine you - probably internally - and make sure that you are up to date with cervical smears. The GP may arrange an ultrasound scan (view a video clip of an ultrasound scan - 244Kb) to look at the womb and see if you have fibroids,(benign growths in the muscle layer of the womb) and on occasion may take a sample from the womb lining (by passing a small plastic tube into the womb through the cervix) or you may be referred to the hospital for this to done.
At the hospital it is possible that you may have a procedure called a hysteroscopy, (view a video clip of a hysteroscopy - 345Kb) which involves looking into the womb with a telescope. This can either be done in the Outpatient Clinic with some local anaesthetic, or if necessary under general anaesthetic. The doctor is likely to consider this if it is thought that you may have fibroids or polyps within the womb lining or if there is concern that you may have something more seriously wrong.
The video clips of an ultrasound scan and hysteroscopy were provided by Dr Christine Bain, MD, MRCOG, MFFP, Consultant Gynaecologist.