Rare Condition Causes Woman to Bleed From Her Eyes During Period

Doctors recently reported the bizarre case of a 25-year-old woman suffering from an incredibly rare medical condition that caused her to bleed from her eyes during her monthly period.

Haemolacria, the condition that causes people to cry blood, is extremely rare, but Indian doctors documented the case of a woman with a similar, but even rarer condition called “ocular vicarious menstruation”. As the name suggests, it causes female sufferers to bleed from their eyes, but only during their monthly period. The 25-year-old woman, whose name was not revealed for privacy reasons, visited the emergency room at a hospital in Chandigarh, complaining about crying blood. All her tests came back normal, and it was only after the woman revealed that the same thing had occurred around the same time the month before that doctors made the connection to menstruation.

Photo: Amanda Dalbjorn/Unsplash

The woman said that the blood tears were not causing her any pain or discomfort, and the extensive ophthalmological and radiological tests showed nothing out of the ordinary. She didn’t have a history of ocular bleeding or any sort of ophthalmological problems, and she wasn’t bleeding from other locations.

After sitting down with the patient to learn more about her symptoms, doctors learned that she had experienced blood tears around the same time the month before. Both times, she was on her period, and after eliminating all other probable causes, she was diagnosed with ocular vicarious menstruation.

The extremely rare condition causes women to bleed from extragenital organs, with the most common one being the nose. However, cases where sufferers experienced bleeding from the lips, eyes and even their lungs or stomachs, have been recorded.


“Oestrogen and progesterone can increase permeability of capillaries resulting in hyperaemia, congestion and secondary bleeding from extrauterine tissue,” the authors of a study documenting the woman’s case, wrote.

After being diagnosed, the woman was treated with oral contraceptives containing a combination of estrogen and progesterone, and at a three-month follow-up she reported that the eye bleeding had not occurred anymore.

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