Medical Q&As

Gynaecology fears

I attended my doctor recently after an episode of bleeding from my vagina. I am 60 years of age and haven't had a period for over ten years. My doctor referred me to see a gynaecologist. What is likely to happen to me when I go to see the gynaecologist?

Doctors tend to be over cautious when presented with the symptom of postmenopausal bleeding and will usually refer such patients to a gynaecologist for further assessment. It is quite possible that the cause of your bleeding will turn out to be innocent but it is not possible to give such reassurance without some investigations. Apart from discussing your history with you the specialist will need to perform an internal examination. If no cause is evident from that examination he may proceed to organise an ultrasound scan of your pelvis. He might also order additional tests such as a hysteroscopy, which is an outpatient procedure and allows the doctor to examine the inside of the womb with a special camera. Sometimes it may be necessary to admit you to hospital overnight in order to perform a D and C (dilatation and curettage). This procedure is performed under a general anaesthetic and involves a gentle scraping of the lining of the womb in order to remove some cells for examination under the microscope.