Can a woman be pregnant and not even know it
Here are some astonishing statistics: Among pregnant women, 1 in doesn't know her status until week 20 or later more than halfway through the pregnancy , and 1 in 2, is oblivious until she actually goes into labor. I know what you're thinking because I've thought it too: it's denial. On some level, these women must know they're pregnant but can't deal with the reality. Yet when I explored the origins of cryptic pregnancy -- the clinical name for this condition -- I realized that denial or mental illness doesn't fully explain the phenomenon. Only a minority of cryptic pregnancy cases has been attributed to personality disturbances eight percent or schizophrenia five percent.SEE VIDEO BY TOPIC: I Didn't Know I Was Pregnant Until I Gave Birth - This Morning
- 5 Reasons People Can Be Pregnant For Months & Not Know It
- Cryptic pregnancies: ‘I didn’t know I was having a baby until I saw its head’
- Reasons for a Hidden and Denied Pregnancy
- Can You Be Pregnant and Not Know It?
- How Can a Woman Have a Baby Without Knowing She’s Pregnant?
- How Can You Be Pregnant (For Months) And Not Know It?
5 Reasons People Can Be Pregnant For Months & Not Know It
For those who have been pregnant before, this seems impossible. After all, how can you miss all of the signs and symptoms of pregnancy? Most women are very anxious to take a pregnancy test the minute their period is late. There are two situations in which a woman wouldn't be aware of her pregnancy. Both suggest that there are significant psychological issues at work. Hidden pregnancies are those that are intentionally hidden: The mom knows she's pregnant but doesn't admit it.
Denied, or negated, pregnancies occur when the mother avoids noticing the obvious symptoms of pregnancy. Why would a mother choose to ignore a pregnancy—or deny that she is pregnant?
There can be many reasons. While some hidden pregnancies make sense, some are the result of psychosis. The mother has literally hidden her own physical state from herself until the baby is actually born. According to medical research, the state of denied pregnancy is not uncommon. In about 1 in pregnancies, women are unaware of pregnancy until 20 weeks' gestation or longer. When you put that into perspective, it means that a woman is three times more likely to give birth without knowing it as to give birth to triplets 1 in 7, pregnancies.
In a country the size of Germany, where the research was conducted, this means that about mothers a year would not know they were pregnant until they started labor. The researchers proposed that a specific category of medical classification be added under reproductive dysfunction for negated pregnancies.
This would include denied or concealed pregnancies. It may also include false pregnancy pseudocyesis , obsessive desire to have children and other pathological behavior of a mother towards her offspring. This is not something that happens only in a certain subset of women. Hidden or denied pregnancy can happen in every socioeconomic group, race, religion, etc. Being unaware of pregnancy, even for only the first 20 weeks, has the potential to risk the health of both mother and baby.
If you are sexually active and you experience persistent, unexplained weight gain, missed periods, or any other symptom that could be associated with pregnancy, seek medical attention. Get diet and wellness tips to help your kids stay healthy and happy. J Emerg Med. Optimal management of nausea and vomiting of pregnancy.
Int J Womens Health. Wessel J, Buscher U. Denial of pregnancy: population based study. Denial of pregnancy: A literature review and discussion of ethical and legal issues.
J R Soc Med. Stammers K, Long N. Not your average birth: Considering the possibility of denied or concealed pregnancy. BMJ Case Rep. Denial of pregnancy: Population based study. More in Are You Pregnant? Was this page helpful? Thanks for your feedback! Sign Up. What are your concerns? Article Sources.
Verywell Family uses only high-quality sources, including peer-reviewed studies, to support the facts within our articles. Read our editorial process to learn more about how we fact-check and keep our content accurate, reliable, and trustworthy.
Cryptic pregnancies: ‘I didn’t know I was having a baby until I saw its head’
In a society that has a low tolerance for uncertainty, cases that challenge our collective notion of the possible fascinate and confuse us. In fact, they are estimated to occur in around one in 2, cases, suggesting around cases in the UK annually , or a potential headline story almost every day. In these cases, women lack all awareness of pregnancy and report experiencing few, if any, of the common symptoms. But uncertainty over the diagnosis of pregnancy is not unusual. While a woman who thinks that she may be pregnant can now carry out a shop-bought pregnancy test with a high degree of accuracy, historically and — even in the relatively recent past — it was not easy to confirm that a woman was pregnant.
She had been taking the pill with no break for more than six months, but had stopped about two weeks before. Dollan had given birth by herself in the bathroom of her flat, after being sent home sick from work; a neighbour had heard her screams of labour and called an ambulance. How could she not have known she was pregnant? But the more pertinent question may be: why would she have thought she was? She had gained a little weight, but chalked that up to the breakup.
Reasons for a Hidden and Denied Pregnancy
As much as I hate being on my period, I do love getting that monthly confirmation that I'm not pregnant. The thought of experiencing an unplanned pregnancy right now scares the heck out of me. But guess what? While uncommon, " cryptic pregnancies ," or pregnancies that conventional medical methods fail to detect, are a real thing; and they're not the only reason people can be pregnant and not know it. For example, people can spot during pregnancy and mistake it for their period, and it's totally possible for them to be months into their pregnancy before they start showing. Additionally, some of the tell-tale symptoms of pregnancy — like weight gain, irregular periods, and acne — are also symptoms of polycystic ovary syndrome PCOS. And having a pregnancy test come back negative doesn't necessarily mean you aren't pregnant, either. Though it's important to be informed on the topic, this isn't intended to scare you or make you paranoid. That being said, you should get in touch with your doctor if your period isn't normal or you think you could be pregnant. To learn more about the reasons pregnancies can go undetected , Bustle reached out to Mark P.
Can You Be Pregnant and Not Know It?
As if an unplanned pregnancy isn't scary enough. Unplanned pregnancy is not at the top of my agenda at the moment, and it honestly scares me to death. What frightens me even more, though, is being pregnant for nine months and not knowing it until I go into labor. You've heard the stories: A woman is hit with a terrible stomachache, rushes to the hospital, and then hears from doctors that she's about to become a mom. Lifetime movie, right?
How Can a Woman Have a Baby Without Knowing She’s Pregnant?
How Can You Be Pregnant (For Months) And Not Know It?