Can babies have their own periods ?

Infant metrorrhagia, more commonly known as "periods ", is characterized by bleeding after birth.

What is metrorrhagia in infants?

Although we often talk about the first periods during adolescence, it also affects babies. Infant metrorrhagia, more commonly known as "periods ", is characterized by bleeding that occurs at birth. It's a rather weak discharge of blood from the vagina during the first week after birth. This bleeding is of small quantities, and may suggest periods.

Why do babies have periods ? 

 Its light bleeding is in fact caused by the secretion of sex hormones in little girls: estrogen. It can be described as a "mini-puberty" that occurs under the activation of the hormonal axis, which goes dormant until puberty is triggered in adolescence.

Metrorrhagia is part of a more global phenomenon known as the genital crisis of the newborn. It can occur in both boys and girls. It manifests itself in several ways: An increase in breast size (they may become red and swollen, with a milky-white liquid sleaking from them). Don't worry: most of the time, this swelling disappears quickly after birth.

The genital crisis of the newborn can also manifest itself directly on the external genitalia with an increase in the volume of the vulvar lips, congestion of the vulva and even small vaginal discharge in girls, an increase in the size of the penis, bursa and testicles in boys. Your baby may also develop a small acne flare-up. All these elements are in fact like a mini-puberty.

What to do if your baby has periods ? 

There is nothing special to do in the case of metrorrhagia in infants. Continue hygiene with mild soap and water.

Good to know: Your baby may be having breakthrough bleeding without you even noticing, because the discharge is so light!

If these symptoms persist over the long term and do not disappear after a few days, consult your midwife or paediatrician, who will be able to give you advice.

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