Why did my period suddenly return?
Q:I’m 52 and I haven’t had a period for nearly a year, so I assumed I was in menopause. But out of the blue I started have menstrual-like cramps and a dark red vaginal discharge. Should I be concerned?
A:What you’re experiencing is very common. In fact, there’s even a name for it: a “last hurrah”—a reappearance of your period for a few cycles before going into full menopause. This can be caused by a number of factors like stress or a recent health issue. I’ve even had some patients whose periods returned when an adult daughter came home for a visit (exposure to a younger woman’s pheromones can cause the body to release just enough estrogen to cause a period).
Still, I suggest seeing your doctor to rule out other causes of bleeding— particularly if it’s heavy enough to require that you frequently change your pad or it’s been going on for two weeks or longer. Other possible culprits include polyps, fibroids, vaginal atrophy and certain medications such as blood thinners and hormone therapy.