Neonatal uterine bleeding as a biomarker for reproductive disorders during adolescence: a worldwide call for systematic registration by nurse midwife

Patrick J Puttemans, Giuseppe Benagiano, Caroline Gargett, Roberto Romero, Sun-Wei Guo, Ivo A Brosens

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleOtherpeer-review

14 Citations (Scopus)


Neonatal uterine bleeding (NUB) occurs in approximately 5% of newborns and is generally considered to be of little clinical significance. However, the real clinical importance of this condition and its long-term implications remain to be determined. The reason why NUB is rare despite high circulating levels of progesterone can be attributed to a progesterone resistance present in a majority of neonates. Recent work indicates that NUB represents a significant biomarker for events that can occur later-on during adolescence. Indeed, clinical studies have shown that “neonatal menstruation” constitutes a sign of fetal distress during late pregnancy, reflecting a stage of endometrium development that may subsequently have an impact on the reproductive life of the adolescent and the young adult. Via retrograde flow, NUB can cause endometrial stem/progenitor cells to arrive into the pelvic cavity and survive there, dormant underneath the peritoneal surface, until menarche activates them. Indeed, there is both clinical and epidemiological evidence of a link between NUB and adolescent endometriosis. In addition, if progesterone resistance persists till the onset of menarche, in case of an early teen pregnancy, it can result in a disorder of deep placentation. Therefore, we propose that NUB should be carefully recorded so that prospective studies can examine its links with reproductive disorders in adolescence and beyond.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1434-1436
Number of pages3
JournalThe Journal of Maternal-Fetal and Neonatal Medicine
Issue number12
Publication statusPublished - 18 Jun 2017


  • adolescent pregnancy
  • deep placentation
  • endometriosis
  • Neonatal uterine bleeding
  • progesterone resistance

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