Woman, 43, who thought she was having a bad period sheds her entire UTERUS lining at once in rare medical phenomenon
- WARNING: GRAPHIC CONTENT
- A woman in Mexico passed her entire uterine lining during her period
- The condition has only been reported in medical literature a handful of times
Many women know the feeling when a period hurts so bad it feels like their insides could fall out.
But that nightmare was a traumatic reality for a woman in Mexico whose painful cramps resulted in her shedding her entire uterus lining.
The unnamed 43-year-old visited the Sinaloa, Mexico, emergency room in 2023 complaining of abdominal pain and vaginal bleeding that lasted two hours.
At first, her symptoms seemed like a severe period.
Patients with membranous dysmenorrhea typically experience severe cramps and bleeding before passing their uterine lining (file photo)
This scan shows the dilated and congested blood vessels in the patient’s uterine lining
The doctors performed an exam and found blood and bodily tissues coming out of her vagina.
When they removed it, they realized it was the entire uterine lining.
In a normal menstrual period, the walls of the uterus thicken to prepare the body for pregnancy. Thicker walls help the cervix support sperm that enters to fertilize an egg, resulting in pregnancy.
When a pregnancy doesn’t happen, the body sheds those thickened walls over the course of three to seven days, leading to bleeding.
But the patient suffered what is called a decidual cast, which is when the lining comes out all at once.
Doctors are not sure what causes the condition, but it’s most common in pregnant women who experience ectopic pregnancy, which occurs outside of the uterus. Most patients are between 20 and 40 years old.
Cases that occur in non-pregnant patients are often associated with contraceptives that impact progesterone, a sex hormone that regulates menstrual cycles and pregnancy.
This image shows the uterine lining that the patient shed
When progesterone is too low or too high, it can result in irregular or heavy bleeding, which could be a result of the uterine lining shedding more quickly.
Though it can be alarming, the condition is not dangerous, but it is extremely rare, so much so that doctors are not sure how many cases there are.
‘There are few publications on this entity because it is a pathology of low incidence in women over 40 years of age,’ the researchers wrote.
In 2016, a 13-year-old girl in Turkey experienced membranous dysmenorrhea after having her first period.
Additionally, Madi Swegle, a 24-year-old labor and delivery nurse, told Today.com that she thought she was just having a bad period before feeling severe cramps and like she was going to pass out.
As soon as she passed the tissue, her symptoms subsided.
The patient in Mexico had no prior medical issues and experienced regular periods. She had also been pregnant three times, all of which included C-section deliveries.
The patient was discharged from the emergency room and continued having regular menstrual cycles.
The case was published in the American Journal of Case Reports.
Six things that could be making your period pain worse
An unhealthy diet
Fast food, cured meats and sugary treats might be making your periods worse, Dr Adiele Hoffman, a physician in the UK, said.
One 2018 study involving 70 university students tested this theory.
Turkish researchers found those who ate lots of salty snacks and sweets had more period pain than those who didn’t.
‘While there are no miracle foods that can magically cure period pains, a healthy diet might make a difference,’ Dr Hoffman added.
Stress can make periods more irregular as hormones disrupt the menstrual cycle.
But research suggests that being overly stressed can also make period cramps worse.
In one study of 388 textile workers in China, women who experienced high stress levels during their last menstrual cycle were twice as likely to develop period pain.
And a 2017 Ethiopian study of 400 female university students came to the same conclusion.
It is a well-known fact smoking is bad for your lungs.
But Dr Hoffman said women may be less aware of the link between smoking and period cramps.
A review of previous studies by researchers in China found that smokers were 1.45 times more likely to develop period pain.
Experts analyzed 24 studies which involved 27,091 participants.
Being very underweight or very overweight
Maintaining a healthy weight can also help with period pains, Dr Hoffman said.
Research has suggested that you’re significantly more likely to experience bad period pain if you’re obese or underweight.
Australian medics studied 9,688 women for 13 years and found that when those who were obese lost weight, their risk of pain decreased.
Some types of birth control
Birth control is often prescribed to women complaining of period cramps.
But some types can make symptoms worse.
The copper coil, an intrauterine device (IUD), can be the cause of heightened cramps and heavier periods, especially in the weeks after it’s inserted.
Less commonly, conditions such as endometriosis, adenomyosis or fibroids can cause period pain.
The most common of the three, endometriosis is a painful condition where tissue similar to uterine lining grows in other parts of the body, such as the tubes and ovaries.
Dr Hoffman said this tissue breaks down and bleeds as hormones change and can sometimes become trapped. In this case, painful scar tissue can form.
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