Pregnancy: the state, condition orquality of being pregnant.Pregnancy: "the condition of carryingdeveloping offspring within the body“Gestation.
Pseudocyesis, false pregnancy,phantom pregnancy: the state, condition orquality of being pregnant... without beingpregnant.
Symptoms ExplainedThe first indication of pregnancy is usually missedmenstruation. 56-98% of women with pseudocyesis experiencemenstrual irregularity or cessation.The explanation for that can be several factors.Being stressed out can decreases the amount of the hormoneGnRH, causing a woman to miss her period.Changing of ones schedule, for example: losing a lot of sleep or evenswitching from working a day shift to working a night shift.Being overweight or underweightUsing certain medications (especially birth control, of course)Being sickMenopause and peri-menopause
Another common symptoms of pseudocyesis is Nausea (andvomiting) which can be the result of anything really. A mere nervousstomach at times can lead to nausea and vomiting.Fatigue is another symptom that can be the result of anything (badsleeping habits, stress, another sickness, etc...).Sore breasts can be a premenstrual sign. In the case of a missedperiod, breast tenderness can still occur.
Breastmilk production is a symptom that can occur withoutpregnancy, believe it or not. Here are some possible causes:Prolactinoma - a benign (noncancerous) tumor in the pituitary gland whereprolactin, the hormone that stimulates milk production, is produced.Medications such as thioridazine (an antipsychotic) can also stimulateprolactin production.Enlarged pituitary gland condition.Mammary gland stimulation by sucking on the nipples (as in sexual foreplay).This increases blood flow to the glands.Mammary duct ectasia - a condition in which the milk duct beneath thenipple becomes clogged or blocked. Usually occurs in women in their 40s and50s
The Most Bizarre Symptoms ExplainedThe most obvious sign of pregnancy is thelarge, noticeably distended abdomen. The cause of adistended abdomen in pregnancy is the enlargement ofthe uterus due to a growing fetus. If a pregnant womansstomach wasnt growing at all, thats a reason to beconcerned.
What about if a womans stomach is graduallygrowing, just as a pregnant belly grows, but shes notpregnant.63 - 97% of women with pseudocyesis appearpregnant.For years, scientists and medical professionals havebeen trying to find the cause for the large abdomen inwomen experiencing a phantom pregnancy. There are a few theories that account for this strangesymptom. Scientists and medical professionals believethat perhaps the distended abdomen is caused by gasbuild up, fat, urine, or feces.
Another bizarre symptom for a non-pregnantwoman in experiencing "quickening", thesensation of the baby moving. Either this is caused by gas or it is psychologicalbecause there is no baby to feel. Still, womenwith pseudocyesis truly believe that they canfeel the nonexistent fetus moving.
LWD (Labor Without Delivery)In true pregnancy, once the time comes for the fetus to come into thisworld, the uterus begins a pattern of contractions to push the baby intothe birth canal. The cervix dilates, widening for the baby to passthrough. As labor progresses, contractions become stronger and getcloser together. Usually, when the cervix is fully dilated and contractionsare relatively constant, the woman is able to push her baby out of herbody and into the real world..Yes, women with pseudocyesis can go into labor just as pregnant womengo into labor. They feel the contractions, their water breaks, they havethe desire to push, the whole nine. Yet, theres no baby to give birth to.
Pregnancy vs. PseudocyesisSometimes the only thing that differs false pregnancy from truepregnancy is a sonogram/ultrasound. In medical examinations forpregnancy, such as a pelvic exam, pregnancy may be confirmed in aperson with pseudocyesis. This is because a woman with this conditionhas a soft and enlarged uterus just as a real pregnant woman does.There have been cases of positive home pregnancy tests due to theproduction of some of the pregnancy related hormones produced in awoman with pseudocyesis. So, to reiterate, a sonogram/ultrasound is theonly surefire way to rule out pregnancy as a diagnosis.
Pregnancy vs. PseudocyesisSometimes the only thing that differs false pregnancy from truepregnancy is a sonogram/ultrasound.In medical examinations for pregnancy, such as a pelvic exam, pregnancymay be confirmed in a person with pseudocyesis. This is because awoman with this condition has a soft and enlarged uterus just as a realpregnant woman does.There have been cases of positive home pregnancy tests due to theproduction of some of the pregnancy related hormones produced in awoman with pseudocyesis.So, to reiterate, a sonogram/ultrasound is the only surefire way to ruleout pregnancy as a diagnosis.
Getting Rid of a Phantom BabyHow you you get rid of a baby that doesnt exist? Usually, once awoman gives birth, the pregnancy symptoms all disappear but howdoes a woman rid herself of the pregnancy-related symptoms whenshe was never pregnant in the first place?Some symptoms, such as the cessation of menstruation, can beended (or in this case, restarted) by medications. Most patients withpseudocyesis may consult a psychologist or psychiatrist.Sometimes, putting a patient under anesthesia can rid them of thedistended abdomen. Treatment depends entirely on the patient.
The AfflictedIn the United States, between 1 and 6 of every22,000 births are phantom pregnancies. The youngest documented case was in a 6 1/2 yeargirl and the oldest documented case was in a 79 yearold woman but the average age is 33. More than 2/3of women who have experienced a phantompregnancy were married and 1/3 were pregnant atleast once in their life.
The people who are most affected by pseudocyesis arewomen in their late 30s or 40s who have fertility problemsor are desperate for a child. Women who have suffered amiscarriage or have lost a child are also susceptible forpseudocyesis. Generally, women going through a phantompregnancy are emotionally unstable and may have otherpsychological problems. An extreme fear of becoming pregnant have also beenshown as a risk factor for developing pseudocyesis.Women who were the victims of incest have been shown topossibly be at greater risk for pseudocyesis.