Fri. Jul 1st, 2022
Vaginal bleeding in newborns or 'false menstruation': what is it due to

It is relatively common for some girls to have a small vaginal bleeding during their first days of life , similar to a mini period. This phenomenon is known as “false menstruation” or “neonatal menarche” , and although it usually alarms parents a lot, it is something normal and not serious.

We explain why neonatal menarche occurs and what we should do if we detect slight bleeding in our baby’s diaper.

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It is due to the effect of the mother’s hormones.

It is estimated that approximately 5% of newborns have neonatal vaginal bleeding in their first week of life.

It is caused by the effects on the baby of exposure to the mother’s hormones during pregnancy , which are found in the bloodstream and pass through the placenta. After birth, this exposure can cause temporary conditions in the baby, such as a “false period”, breast engorgement , vaginal discharge , or slightly swollen genitalia.

‘Neonatal menarche’ does not cause pain or discomfort to the baby , nor is it related to having precocious puberty in the future.

How to know if the blood in the diaper is neonatal menstruation?

The bleeding is visible through the vaginal orifice, but in no case is it profuse bleeding . In this way, it is possible that when changing the diaper small spots of blood are detected or a discharge with blood coming out of the vagina can be observed.

Although it is normal to be scared at first, it is important to emphasize that it is a totally benign and temporary process , which does not require any type of intervention and that it will stop after three or four days.

What to do if I see blood in my baby’s diaper?

Although we have already said that ‘neonatal menarche’ is a benign and transient process, it is worth consulting with the pediatrician for our peace of mind.

You don’t have to touch the baby’s vulva or be obsessed with eliminating the blood that comes out every moment. We must change the diaper as we would normally do and clean their genitals correctly to avoid infections; that is, from front to back and with the help of a sponge with water. Before putting on a new diaper, we must make sure that the area is dry.The bleeding will subside on its own in a few days . In the event that it has not been done in a maximum of five days, it will be necessary to consult with the pediatrician, as it could be a different pathology. We also have to consult immediately if the bleeding is abundant or is accompanied by any other warning sign .