Three members of the Children’s Health Defense team conducted research for a paper published April 21 in the Gazette of Medical Sciences showing an increase in reports of “decidual cast shedding” during 2021, compared with the pre-pandemic period.
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Three members of the Children’s Health Defense team — Brian Hooker, Ph.D., chief scientific officer, Sue Peters, Ph.D., senior research fellow and Heather Ray, scientific administrator — conducted research for a paper published April 21 in the Gazette of Medical Sciences.
Hooker, Peters and Ray worked with My Cycle Story, a multidisciplinary, collaborative research project involving 13 scientists and physicians, on a survey that found an increase in 2021 in reports of “decidual cast shedding.”
Decidual cast shedding refers to a condition where the entire lining of the uterus is passed at once.
A decidual cast may occur when a cessation of progesterone levels results in the loss of support for the decidualized endometrial lining. This causes a synchronized detachment of the entire lining, which then passes through the cervix and vagina.
The My Cycle Story survey of 6,049 females found 292 reported cases of decidual cast shedding between May 16, 2021, and Dec. 31, 2021.
The results of the survey, which was conducted on social media, contrasted with the pre-pandemic period, where a total of 40 cases were found in the medical literature over the past 109 years.
As survey responses accumulated, it became evident that individuals were reporting a variety of unusual symptoms, many severe, and that decidual cast shedding was prevalent within the survey responses.
The study authors affirmed through Google metadata a 2,000% increase in the search terms “decidual cast shedding” during the first two quarters of 2021.
The authors also concluded more research is needed to understand the factors involved in the increase in decidual cast shedding in 2021.
The My Cycle Story team seeks to develop a deeper understanding of this phenomenon as well as other menstrual irregularities associated with the pandemic.