A series of 125 healthy subjects were examined by the stix method (chemical response) for occult occurrence of blood in tears. Blood was found in 18% of fertile women, definitely most often in the menstrual phase (in 39% of 51 samples within the first week, reckoned from the first day of menstruation). The incidence was independent of use of the contraceptive pill. On the other hand, occult haemolacria was observed in no more than 7% (= 30) of pregnant women and in none at the menopause (N = 7). Among males the phenomenon was noticed in 8% (N = 24). Occult haemolacria in fertile women thus seems to be induced by hormones, whereas haemolacria most often is provoked by local factors (bacterial conjunctivitis, environmental damage, injuries).