Cryptic pregnancy: causes and symptoms

Filed in: pregnancy.

For some women, cryptic. the pregnancy It is something that is extremely confusing and disturbing. Although cryptic pregnancy is rare, it requires special attention, as a pregnant woman becomes aware of her pregnancy when labor begins.

What is a cryptic pregnancy?

Cryptic pregnancy is a situation in which a woman does not know she is pregnant, often until after the 20th week of pregnancy. In some cases, a woman with a cryptic pregnancy does not realize she is pregnant until delivery. There are several reasons why a cryptic pregnancy can occur, and they are not intrinsically dangerous.

In some medical circles, this is known as a denial of pregnancy, but that does not suggest a conscious denial by the mother, but rather a denial of the body when the amount of humans Chorionic Gonadotropin (hCG) is too low to be detected by a urine or blood test. [1]

How common is cryptic pregnancy?

Cryptic pregnancy affects approximately 1 in 500 women, but many other women can claim to have a cryptic pregnancy when, in fact, they are not pregnant. Many women experience common symptoms of pregnancy, such as weight gain, hormonal imbalance, irregular menstruationor Crampsand suspicious That they are pregnant, but these symptoms are actually caused by another condition. [2] On the other hand, some women with a cryptic pregnancy may also experience mild levels of these symptoms, but assume that they are due to some other condition, due to the negative pregnancy test.

Causes of cryptic pregnancy

Cryptic pregnancy can be caused by several factors, including the use of certain methods of birth control, a recent pregnancy, high levels of stress hormones, low body fat, or polycystic Ovarian syndrome, among others.

Recent Pregnancy

A recent pregnancy can cause hormones. fluctuations It can mask the presence of hCG in the blood and urine, resulting in a cryptic pregnancy. [3]

Natality control

Certain contraceptive methods release constant streams of hormones, which can deceive the body into believing that it is not pregnant, and even maintain a somewhat regular menstruation. [4]

Stress hormones

High levels of stress have been directly related to cryptic pregnancy in the past, as this can also trick pregnancy tests and alter body chemistry.

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Body fat

Women with very little body fat often have hormones. imbalances, which makes it difficult to detect the presence of hCG in the blood and urine. [5]

Polycystic ovarian syndrome (PCOS)

The cysts associated with PCOS may cause excessive launching of hormones by the body, which makes it difficult to detect a pregnancy in formal tests. [6]

Symptoms of cryptic pregnancy

If you are experiencing a cryptic pregnancy, some of the most common symptoms include: Bleeding, continuous menstruation, low birth weight, lack of pregnancy symptoms, as well as mild forms of common pregnancy symptoms.

Vaginal bleeding

While some vaginal hemorrhages are normal in women, unexplained spots can be a sign of pregnancy, but they are often ignored by women who are convinced they are not pregnant.


In many cases, women will have irregular periods or tempered menstruation during the course of her cryptic pregnancy, which convinces many women that they are not pregnant. [7]

Lack of symptoms

One symptom is a clear lack of pregnancy symptoms, which means that there is no morning sickness, regular menstruation, low weight gain and no clear hormonal changes. On the other hand, some women experience very mild symptoms of pregnancy and assume they are caused by something else.

How long is the cryptic pregnancy?

In most cases, a cryptic pregnancy is detected sometime after the 20th week of pregnancy, when the symptoms of pregnancy become more difficult to detect and the weight gain becomes more evident. However, in many cases, the cryptic pregnancy can last the entire term, and a woman will not be aware that she is pregnant. until she leaves In labor and begins to experience contractions. [8]


The most common side effects of such an unusual pregnancy include low birth weight, prolonged labor and an abnormally long duration. gestational period.

Birth weight

Due to lack of prenatal care and preparation, the baby's birth weight is often low and there may be an increased risk of birth defects, considering that women may not have continued a diet for pregnancy, or participate in other activities, such as alcohol or of smoking. [9]

Extended work

Labor pains and symptoms may last extremely long time Before giving birth to the baby, in fact, weeks or months. [10] This can be painful and debilitating in many cases.

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Gestational period

Your gestation period may be longer than average since the body does not detect a fetus and therefore will not start all the appropriate development processes. [11] This can result in gestation periods of 45 weeks or more.

Ultrasound of cryptic pregnancy

Many people are puzzled by the idea of ​​a cryptic pregnancy due to the accuracy of the ultrasound tests. However, in the case of cryptic pregnancy, an ultrasound. may fail Detect a growing fetus for several reasons, such as an excess of scar tissue, uterine introversion or a bicornuate uterus. [12]

Utero Bicorn Inclined uterus Scar

Cryptic pregnancy work

Delivery for a cryptic pregnancy can be very different from a normal delivery, mainly because there will not have been much prenatal care and a lack of preparation for the birth. Work it can be extremely long, with contractions and severe cramps that begin months before the actual birth. [13] For women who have no idea that they are pregnant, this may be the first time they realize they are carrying a child. At this point, some doctors may recommend an emergency delivery of Caesarean section section.

While physical delivery can be relatively short, the period before birth can be highly stressful, uncomfortable and confusing. Women can experience abdominal painnausea Back pain, heart palpitations, blurred vision, cold sweats, Diarrhea, fever and mood swings, among many others. These symptoms can last for days, weeks or even months before the birth occurs.

Cryptic pregnancy: causes and symptoms, reference:

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