Can I Be Pregnant And Not Know It

Mistaking Symptoms Of Pregnancy With Another Health Problem

Can you be pregnant for months and not know about it? – Dr. Premlata Subhash

In some circumstances, a woman might not know she’s pregnant because she believes her pregnancy symptoms are caused by some other health problem. Women with a history of ovarian complications such as tumors or cysts may attribute discomfort or pain to their previous condition.

Since not all women have medical insurance, this sometimes makes them reluctant to seek medical advice if they believe they have a health problem. Other women think their symptoms will go away, so they often skip out on seeing their local doctor.

Past health problems or not, a visit to the doctor can put your suspicions to rest or lead you to the treatment you need.

To learn more about pregnancy, browse the resources on the next page.

Prenatal care requires taking well-researched steps to ensure the best health for you and your child during the early weeks of pregnancy. Eating right, quitting smoking, avoiding certain environmental exposures and taking approved prenatal vitamins are a few recommendations from the U.S. Office of Women’s Health .

Trying For Another Baby

You may want to try for another baby when you and your partner feel physically and emotionally ready.

You’ll probably be advised to wait until you’ve had at least 2 periods after treatment before trying again to allow yourself to recover.

If you were treated with methotrexate, it’s usually recommended that you wait at least 3 months because the medicine could harm your baby if you become pregnant during this time.

Most women who have had an ectopic pregnancy will be able to get pregnant again, even if they’ve had a fallopian tube removed.

Overall, 65% of women achieve a successful pregnancy within 18 months of an ectopic pregnancy. Occasionally, it may be necessary to use fertility treatment such as IVF.

The chances of having another ectopic pregnancy are higher if you’ve had one before, but the risk is still small .

If you do become pregnant again, it’s a good idea to let your GP know as soon as possible so early scans can be carried out to check everything is OK.

Signs Of A Cryptic Pregnancy

A cryptic pregnancy, by definition, is one that you don’t have any awareness of. As such, there may not be any typical pregnancy symptoms like fatigue, nausea and vomiting, missed periods, or abdominal swelling.

But that doesn’t always mean there are no signs. It may just be that they are vague enough that they are easily overlooked or believed to be caused by something else.

For example, someone could write off morning sickness as an upset stomach, or the absence of a period as an irregular menstrual cycle.

More awareness of cryptic pregnancies is needed so that women with even slight pregnancy symptoms can be medically evaluated.

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How Does Your Stomach Feel In Early Pregnancy

Feeling pain in your lower abdomen or feeling like your stomach is hard, swollen, or heavy are not early signs of pregnancy.

To the touch, a person’s stomach and abdomen will not show any noticeable signs of pregnancy until later on, depending on your specific body type. People who are in their first pregnancy usually don’t start showing until twenty weeks or later.1 Those who have already been pregnant might start showing sooner.

Being Told You Or Your Partner Is Infertile

Yep, You Can Be in Real Labor and Not Even Know It ...

Fertility issues can also influence whether a woman knows she’s pregnant.

Infertility can be a painful reality for couples that want children. But the ability to get pregnant may change over time. Women who are told that they or their partners are infertile may not consider pregnancy an option. Because of this, they are less likely to notice the first signs of pregnancy.

On the other hand, some couples want to eliminate the chance of becoming pregnant through surgical procedures such as vasectomies and tubal ligation. In rare cases, a man’s vasectomy may not be entirely successful. For one, it may take longer than the couple realizes for the remaining live sperm to be discharged from the body after surgery. Also, if the man’s two severed sperm ducts reconnect while healing, he can still produce live sperm . Assuming their partners can no longer produce live sperm during intercourse, women may not use other contraceptive methods, which could lead to an unplanned pregnancy.

Even thinking you’ve already experienced menopause can get in the way of realizing you’re pregnant. Both pregnancy and menopause have powerful hormonal impacts on the body, and sometimes, the two conditions share similar symptoms.

Where does mental health fit in? We’ll explore this question next.

New moms can still get pregnant, even if they’ve just given birth or are still breastfeeding another child.

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How Can I Make Up My Mind

Talking to people you trust, and getting information about your options, can help you decide. You may want to talk to a partner, family or friends, or you may prefer to speak to someone less close to you.

The following services can talk confidentially with you, free of charge, about how you feel about the pregnancy and what options you have:

  • your general practice
  • a contraception or sexual health clinic, including a young persons service .

For a fee, you can discuss your options with organisations such as bpas , Marie Stopes , and NUPAS . Theres useful information on their websites which can help you explore your feelings, including how you feel about becoming a parent, having an abortion, or choosing adoption.

If youre under 25, youll find information and advice about all options, including abortion, from the Brook website at

Its essential to get information and take time to explore how you feel so that you can make the decision thats right for you. Be aware that some organisations may not offer unbiased pregnancy counselling or advice and may lead you into making the wrong choice for you.

They Mistake Spotting During Pregnancy For Light Periods

Dr. Trolice says bleeding during the first trimester of pregnancy can occur in up to one-third of women â a statement backed up by the American Pregnancy Association, which states that 20% to 30% of women experience some degree of bleeding in early pregnancy. “Unless a pregnancy is known, women sometimes mistake this bleeding for a menstrual period,” Dr. Trolice says. “Any time a woman has irregular vaginal bleeding, the chance for a pregnancy should be determined.”

While it’s technically not possible to menstruate during pregnancy, many people do experience spotting during their pregnancies and end up mistaking it for their period. Additionally, people who conceive super close to the time they would normally be getting their periods often have what is called “breakthrough bleeding,” because their bodies haven’t fully adjusted to being pregnant yet.

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What Should I Do Now

If you decide to continue with the pregnancy, youll be able to get antenatal care , whether youre planning to be a parent or choose adoption. To start your antenatal care, you can visit your general practice , or register with one. Or you may be able to go directly to a midwife at your nearest maternity unit.To find your nearest maternity unit see

As part of your antenatal care, the doctor or midwife can talk to you about:

  • healthy eating and exercise
  • whether any medicines youre taking are unsafe during pregnancy
  • getting advice and tests for sexually transmitted infections.

If you have a medical condition, such as epilepsy or diabetes, talk to your doctor or midwife as soon as possible because you may need special care.

If youre taking medication, its important that you continue to take this and seek advice from a doctor or nurse as soon as possible.

Youve Missed Your Period

How i finally got pregnant didn’t know it ð?

If youâre in your childbearing years, sexually active, and more than a week has passed since the day your period was expected to start, itâs very possible youâre pregnant. If you have an irregular menstrual cycle, have recently experienced significant weight loss or weight gain, or stopped taking your birth control pills, a missed period may not be a reason to worry. However, missed periods are perhaps the most tell-tale sign of a potential pregnancy, so be sure to take a pregnancy test if youâre in this situation. Many pregnant women experience some bleeding around two weeks after fertilization and mistake it for a light period, but a missed period on their next cycle will indicate a pregnancy. â

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Cryptic Pregnancy Is More Common Than You Think

As bizarre as it sounds, cryptic pregnancy is a very real phenomenon. Some women do become pregnant and are genuinely unaware theyre expecting until several months into their pregnancies or more shockingly when they go into labour.

Its not just something made up by the tabloids to sell newspapers. It might not be the norm and its got some experts unconvinced, but there are some genuine cases.

Take Katie Price. Shes known as a bit of an expert when it comes to being pregnant but she was shocked to discover in the spring of 2014 that she was 6 months pregnant again just 8 months after giving birth to her daughter Jett. I had some really bad stomach pains, she explains. I didnt feel pregnant, though. After returning home from a holiday, she took a test and discovered the surprising news.

And just recently, 28-year-old Kiwi Charlene Wells gave birth to a healthy baby boy, less than 15 hours after finding out she was pregnant.

How Does It Happen

Various physiological or psychological theories have been suggested to explain cryptic pregnancy. While it may occur more commonly in women who have a co-existing mental health condition, many cases occur in women who have no evidence of underlying mental health problems and its cause remains unknown.

Headline cases generally depict happy outcomes, but while pregnancy is a normal physiological life event, a woman who doesnt recognise that she is pregnant are at considerable risk both physiologically and psychologically.

For all women, pregnancy is a time of change and preparation for motherhood. While the reality of motherhood may still surprise any woman, those who are unaware of their pregnancy are likely to be profoundly shocked by their unexpected motherhood. This can be extremely difficult to overcome.

In addition, these women will not access antenatal care, complications will not be detected and women may continue to smoke or drink alcohol unaware of the potential for harm. A characteristic of cases of women completely unaware of their pregnancy appears to be that they seek medical help for severe abdominal pains. Many, however, give birth alone or without skilled assistance and this places both mother and baby at considerable and life-threatening risk.

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Symptoms Of An Ectopic Pregnancy

An ectopic pregnancy doesn’t always cause symptoms and may only be detected during a routine pregnancy scan.

If you do have symptoms, they tend to develop between the 4th and 12th week of pregnancy.

Symptoms can include a combination of:

But these symptoms aren’t necessarily a sign of a serious problem. They can sometimes be caused by other problems, such as a stomach bug.

Read more about the symptoms of an ectopic pregnancy.

Yes You Can Go Into Labor Without Knowing You Were Pregnant

Can you be pregnant for months and not know about it?

A teenage girl in Wisconsin has made national news after she gave birth to a baby boy she says she didnt know she was carrying. Braeley Pettigrew, 17, tells Milwaukees WDJT that she was experiencing flu-like symptoms when she woke up in the middle of the night and felt like she was just having a tough B.M. Soon after, her baby dropped into the toilet.

I feel shocked, Pettigrew said. I never thought I would be a mother at 17, but my first instinct was to get him out of the toilet, cut the umbilical cord, and wrap him up to keep him warm.

It sounds unfathomable, but Pettigrew isnt the first person to give birth to a baby she didnt know she was carrying. TLC has a series that ran for 56 episodes, each typically featuring two or more women who say they didnt know they were pregnant until they went into labor.

The main reasons the women gave for not knowing they were pregnant: They thought they were sick with something else, they thought they couldnt get pregnant and wrote off pregnancy symptoms, they didnt have traditional pregnancy symptoms, and they had vaginal bleeding during their pregnancies which they thought were periods.

While its fairly common for women to not know theyre pregnant right away, Worly says most women are aware after at least three months after a missed period.

False negative pregnancy tests may play a role as well. They do exist and women believe them, Ghodsi says.

Pettigrew reportedly plans to keep the baby, who she named Kayden.

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How Long Does A Cryptic Pregnancy Last

Anecdotal evidence suggests that a cryptic pregnancy can last longer than a typical pregnancy, perhaps related to very low hormone levels at the start.

On the other hand, theres also a case to be made that lack of prenatal care, poor diet, and lifestyle choices made by a person who isnt aware of their pregnancy could increase the odds of a preterm birth.

We dont have much credible research to understand how a stealth pregnancy might be different in terms of length.

Feeling Sick During Pregnancy

You may feel sick or be sick. This is commonly known as morning sickness, but it can happen at any time of the day or night.

Morning sickness symptoms usually start when youre around 4-6 weeks pregnant

If you’re being sick all the time and cannot keep anything down, see a GP.

You may have hyperemesis gravidarum, a serious condition in pregnancy that causes severe vomiting and needs treatment.

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How To Improve Menstrual Regularity

Increased stress, along with diet and exercise changes, can affect your menstrual period. If you experience irregular periods and you have PCOS, chances are it is because of a hormone imbalance.

The best ways to achieve a regular menstrual period if you have PCOS include:

  • Follow a healthy diet. Enjoy a diet that is rich in antioxidants and healthy fats as well as low in processed or sugary foods.
  • Exercise regularly. One study found that sedentary women with PCOS who exercised for 30 minutes on three days a week ovulated more regularly.
  • Take supplements. Supplements that have been shown to improve menstrual regularity and ovulation in women with PCOS include n-acetylcysteine, omega-3 fatty acids, vitamin D, and a combination of myo and d-chiro inositol.

How Does A Cryptic Pregnancy Go Undetected In Ultrasound

What Is A Cryptic Pregnancy? | This Morning

Sometimes an ultrasound can miss the fetus in the womb. Typically, health care providers use ultrasound imaging to check for pregnancy in the early stages between 10 and 13 weeks gestation. It’s unlikely to detect a heartbeat by ultrasound before the seventh week of pregnancy. After that, a fetal heartbeat should be easily detectable by transvaginal ultrasound.

Knowing when conception occurred is also important. In early pregnancy, being off by a few days with the estimated last menstrual period or having an irregular ovulation pattern can make a difference in whether or not a heartbeat is detected in an early ultrasound.

If an ultrasound image doesnt show a pregnancy, it could be because:

  • The embryo didnt implant on the uterus where it usually would.
  • The shape or position of the uterus hides the embryo.

Getting an abdominal ultrasound transvaginal ultrasound is generally much more accurate in early pregnancy.

When an intrauterine pregnancy cant be identified with reasonable certainty, a blood test to measure hCG and additional ultrasound examinations may be required to rule out the possibility of an ectopic pregnancy.

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When To Get Emergency Help

Call 999 for an ambulance or go to your nearest accident and emergency department immediately if you experience a combination of:

  • a sharp, sudden and intense pain in your tummy
  • feeling very dizzy or fainting
  • feeling sick
  • looking very pale

These symptoms could mean that your fallopian tube has split open . This is very serious and surgery to repair the fallopian tube needs to be carried out as soon as possible.

A rupture can be life threatening, but fortunately they’re uncommon and treatable, if dealt with quickly. Deaths from ruptures are extremely rare in the UK.

Im Pregnant What Do I Do Now

Finding out youre pregnant can be scary, but try to stay calm. Youre going to be okay, and there are people who can help you.

If youre pregnant you have 3 options:

Parenting giving birth and raising the child.

Abortion ending the pregnancy.

Adoption giving birth and giving the child to someone else, forever.

If you think you might choose parenting or adoption, you need prenatal care to make sure you stay healthy during the pregnancy. If youre thinking about getting an abortion, make an appointment as soon as you can. Abortion is very safe, but there are more risks the longer you wait. And it can be harder to get an abortion as time goes by. Whatever you decide to do, go to a doctor right away so they can help you stay healthy.

The staff at your local Planned Parenthood health center can give you accurate information about all your options, answer your questions, and offer support.

You can also get information and health care from other family planning centers or your family doctor. Be careful when looking for a reliable health center there are fake clinics that say they have pregnancy services. These are called Crisis Pregnancy Centers, and theyre run by people who are anti-abortion and try to scare or shame people out of choosing abortion. Read more about Crisis Pregnancy Centers.

No one should pressure you into making any decision about your pregnancy, no matter what. Only you know whats right for you.

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