Home Health Hysterical Pregnancy: The pregnancy that ends without a baby

Hysterical Pregnancy: The pregnancy that ends without a baby

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False pregnancy
To determine whether a woman is experiencing a hysterical or false pregnancy, the doctor will usually evaluate her symptoms; perform a pelvic exam and abdominal ultrasound: Photo / Courtesy

Almost every woman dreams of getting a baby and most importantly getting pregnant.

Surprisingly in some cases, their pregnancy never brings forth the desired outcome, a bouncing baby.

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This is what is referred to as hysterical pregnancy or Pseudocyesis.

Hysterical pregnancy

Pseudocyesis as explained by WebMD, is the belief that you are expecting a baby when in actual sense you not carrying a child.

Women with this condition have many if not all symptoms of pregnancy.

The woman’s body may produce some pregnancy signs such as a swollen belly, enlarged breasts, and even the sensation of fetal movement.

As reported by one of dailies, a couple in Kenya, almost ruined their marriage after the woman experienced pregnancy symptoms.

Unfortunately, her husband, James, works in Somalia and the pregnancy was conceived in his absence, an allegation he presented.

Until doctors explained the shocking situation that they agreed to live harmoniously.

In an issue of the journal, Psychosomatics, Dr. Biju Basil, a psychiatrist at Drexel University, reported a case of a woman who went through false delivery at the same time her son’s girlfriend was giving birth.

WebMD continue, only recently have doctors begun to understand the psychological and physical issues that are at the root of pseudocyesis.

Although the exact causes still aren’t known, doctors suspect that psychological factors may trick the body into “thinking” that it’s pregnant.

Cause of false pregnancy

According to an article in The New York Times, when a woman feels an intense desire to get pregnant, this may be because of infertility, repeat miscarriages, impending menopause, or a desire to get married.

The woman’s brain then misinterprets those signals as pregnancy, and triggers the release of hormones (such as estrogen and prolactin) that lead to actual pregnancy symptoms.

This raises the possibility that pseudocyesis is the result of a delicate mind-body feedback loop: an initial emotional state induces abnormal hormone secretion, which in turn has its own physical and psychological effects.

According to Dr. Mary Erskine, a biologist at Boston University who studies the neurology of reproductive systems, anxiety may be one emotional state that helps set this feedback loop in motion.

To determine whether a woman is experiencing a hysterical or false pregnancy, the doctor will usually evaluate her symptoms; perform a pelvic exam and abdominal ultrasound.

In a case of false pregnancy, no baby will be seen on the ultrasound, and there won’t be any heartbeat.

After waiting for months, making all preparations, eating right ready to receive your new born baby, it can be really depressing to find out that you were not pregnant at all.

It is more like your body was playing tricks on you. The doctors breaking the news should be very careful and sensitive while doing so because this can lead to other issues such as depression.

By LinahMwangi

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