Woman bleeds from eyes during periods due to rare condition

After investigating the case in more detail, the doctors realised that both the times the woman cried tears of blood, she was on her periods.

Chandigarh: A 25-yr-old woman in Chandigarh shocked the doctors when she complained about her bleeding eyes only to be diagnosed with a rare condition called ocular vicarious menstruation.

The woman was not experiencing any pain or discomfort due to the tears of blood. She told the medics that she experienced the same thing a month before consulting them.

She even underwent a vast array of tests to ascertain the root cause of her bleeding eyes, but all reports came normal. Neither were there any injuries to the eyes, nor she didn’t have a family history of an ocular bleeding condition or any past issues with her eyes. So, what was really causing it?

After investigating the case in more detail, the doctors realized that both the times the woman cried tears of blood, she was on her periods. 

An extremely rare condition, ocular vicarious menstruation is defined as “cyclical bleeding in extrauterine organs during menstruation.” In this rare condition, bleeding can also occur from the lips, eyes, lungs, and stomach and most commonly nose.

After the woman was diagnosed with it, her case was highlighted in the British Medical Journal, wherein authors have explained how hormonal changes during menstruation affect ‘vascular permeability’ in these organs, resulting in the bleeding.

What is ocular vicarious menstruation?

”Vicarious menstruation is considered to be due to response of vasculature to the hormones in the presence or absence of endometrial tissue at extrauterine sites, although its exact pathophysiology is not very clear. Oestrogen and progesterone can increase permeability of capillaries resulting in hyperaemia, congestion and secondary bleeding from extrauterine tissue,” the study notes.

The woman was treated with oral contraceptives containing a combination of estrogen and progesterone. She told the doctors that she didn’t experience bloody tears after a three-month follow-up.

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