'I thought I was suffering from cervical cancer - but it was actually menopause': Woman experiences rare symptom that left her sheets 'drenched in blood'

2 months ago
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A woman who started bleeding so heavily she thought she had cervical cancer — has been told she was actually experiencing menopause.

Gigi Gerencser, from Sechelt, Canada, hadn't had a regular period for three years when she woke up one morning to find her bedsheets 'drenched in blood'.

She rushed to the hospital where doctors took a biopsy to test for cancer, saying the then 53-year-old's bleeding 'wasn't right'.

But tests came back negative, indicating she did not have cancer, leading Gerencser's gynecologist to determine the gushing blood was a 'unique' symptom of menopause.

Gigi Gerencser, 58 and from Sechelt, Canada, rushed to hospital believing her heavy bleeding was being caused by cancer. But doctors later revealed it was a lesser-known symptom of menopause and that her body was having 'one last hurrah' before periods stopped

Ms Gerencser said when she first arrived at the hospital doctors were worried the bleeding could be caused by a serious medical complication

When Ms Gerencser arrived at the hospital, doctors were concerned over the heavy bleeding and sent her for a biopsy — where a small tissue sample was taken to check for cancer — but she got the all-clear two weeks later when no cancer cells were found.

She then had an appointment with her gynecologist, who explained why she may have experienced the heavy bleeding.

Ms Gerencser said: 'My gynecologist told me it was highly unusual - but not impossible. I'd had a "one last hurrah" period — a final, massive one.

'She said it happens when women still have a few eggs left after their periods slow down.

'It was likely I'd never have a period again. Five years later, I still haven't.'

Ms Gerencser said: 'I can't even explain — it was so terrifying — I woke up to find blood gushing out of me.

'I'd had a total of three periods in the three years before that — but it was nothing like this. I was extremely weak.

'I thought I was hemorrhaging from something that had burst inside me — or I was convinced I had cervical cancer.

'[But] A couple of weeks after I went to hospital, my biopsy results came back clear. My gynecologist told me [the bleeding] was a unique symptom of menopause.

'I thought I was going crazy.'

For the three years before the episode, Ms Gerencser had been in perimenopause — when symptoms appear and the ovaries begin to shut down, but the body hasn't fully entered into menopause yet.

She still had the occasional period but they were 'weak', she said, and were months apart.

'I just thought they'd gradually stop and I'd never have one again,' Ms Gerencser added.

Ms Gerencser revealed when perimenopause began she also struggled with intense bouts of rage and anxiety and had joint pain, bloating and constant hot flushes.

She said: 'I started thinking "I'm a bad person. I hate myself. I don't understand what's happening to me".

'I started becoming intensely enraged at absolutely nothing — and at a moment's notice.

'Someone could give me the wrong lid for my coffee in Starbucks, and I'd just want to smash the cup down.

'My husband and I started having problems — we couldn't get along. This wasn't normal for us — we'd have the usual arguments, but we never really fought.

'Anxiety was something I never suffered before — but still, to this day, I could open my eyes first thing in the morning and feel it taking over my body. To the point where I can feel the little hairs on my arms and legs stand up.'

She went straight for a biopsy — where a small tissue sample is taken to check for cancer — but got the all-clear two weeks later when no cancer cells were found.

To help with the symptoms, Ms Gerencser has been taking a topical hormone which is 80 percent estriol and 20 percent estradiol.

She is also taking vitamin supplements for more magnesium, K2 and vitamin D and ensuring her diet contains lots of healthy fats like salmon and leafy greens.

Symptoms of perimenopause include night sweats, heart palpitations, vaginal dryness and, in some cases, heavy periods.

These heavy periods normally lead to women needing to change a tampon every hour or two, doctors say, and aren't heavy enough to cause the bed sheets to be drenched in blood.

While a symptom of perimenopause,  heavy vaginal bleeding is also a common warning sign of cervical cancer — with nearly 12,000 women diagnosed with the cancer in the US every year.

It can also be a warning sign of endometrial cancer, the fourth most common cancer among women in the US, with 65,000 cases diagnosed every year.

Women who have gone through menopause may also experience heavy vaginal bleeding in some cases, and experts say they should see a doctor immediately.

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