You’re Over 44 Years Old
Thanks to that good-old biological clock, a person with female reproductive organs will experience their chances of getting pregnant wane over time. They are born with some 1 million to 2 million eggs there are only about 300,000 left when they get their first period and 25,000 left by their late 30s. This means that the chances of becoming pregnant in their early 40s are pretty slim, though not impossible. “As we get closer to 40, the ticking of our biological clock becomes louder, and by 44, it can be deafening,” Dr. Ross says. “Fertility decreases by as much as 95% in women between 40 and 45 years of age.”
How hard is it to get pregnant over 44 years old? According to Dr. Ross, women over the age of 44 have a less than 5% chance of getting pregnant each month.
How Long Does It Take For A Woman To Get Pregnant
If you are healthy and your reproductive parts are functioning at their best, you have a 25% probability of becoming pregnant during every menstrual cycle. According to the American Pregnancy Association, with frequent unprotected sex, most healthy couples conceive within one year.
Of all couples trying to get pregnant :
- 30 percent get pregnant within the first month .
- 60 percent get pregnant within three months .
- 80 percent get pregnant within six months .
- 85 percent get pregnant in about a year .
- 92 percent get pregnant in about 4 years .
What Is Labor And Delivery Like After A Cryptic Pregnancy
Labor and delivery at the end of a cryptic pregnancy will be physically similar to any other pregnancy. Youll typically have contractions that feel like severe cramps while your cervix stretches to be able to deliver the baby. Once your cervix is dilated, your body will need to push the baby out of the birth canal.
Whats different about labor and delivery for a cryptic pregnancy is that you may not be at all expecting it. This can cause intense psychological distress while its happening.
You also may not have had access to prenatal care during your pregnancy, so you might not have a doctor or midwife on call. If youre experiencing intense cramping that feels like contractions and dont know what to do, go to the emergency room immediately.
There are lots of stories of women who claim that they didnt know that they were pregnant.
The medical literature points to one story of a 23-year-old woman who went to her local ER for lower back pain. Once she arrived, she took a routine pregnancy test before being checked in, which revealed that she was pregnant.
Even more surprising, when her doctors started to check her for an ectopic pregnancy, they discovered she was 8 centimeters dilated nearly ready to give birth. She delivered a healthy baby boy.
That baby, too, was delivered and remained in good health.
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How Can You Be Pregnant And Not Know It
Here are some astonishing statistics: Among pregnant women, 1 in 450 doesn’t know her status until week 20 or later , and 1 in 2,500 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 or schizophrenia . It appears that most unexpectedly expectant mothers are perfectly sane and educated. Quite simply, they do not know they’re pregnant because they have no symptoms — no weight gain, no nausea, and little to no abdominal swelling. They may still have their periods, or have always had irregular periods. If they have symptoms, they’re so subtle as to be easily mistaken for something else. Indigestion, perhaps.
There’s a very real and perfectly valid reason for this, according to Marco Del Giudice, a cognitive scientist at the University of Turin. And it’s linked to an expectant mother’s stress-levels.
Sometimes, though, under some conditions, mom gets a lot of rope — at the fetus’s expense.
There are a few factors that contribute to a fetus not producing enough of the pregnancy hormone:
1. Chromosomal anomalies: That is, the fetus has a birth defect.
Reasons For Denied Pregnancy
Why would a mother choose to ignore a pregnancyor deny that she is pregnant? There can be many medical reasons.
- Symptoms of pregnancy, such as morning sickness, do not appearor appear in unexpected ways .
- The pregnancy is a result of rape or incest, and the mother does not acknowledge that she is pregnant due to the trauma of the event.
- The mother is an athlete who is training hard enough that early pregnancy is not physically obvious.
- The mother has taken a pregnancy test which gave incorrect negative results.
- The mother has an irregular menstrual cycle and, thus, does not miss her period until she is several weeks or even months pregnant.
- The mother is obese and thus is unaware of the additional weight or pressure she might otherwise feel.
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.
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Youre Pregnant But Youre Testing Too Early
You know how pregnancy tests say you can test 5 days sooner! on the package? That refers to how many days before your expected period you can test yourself and get an accurate result.
But if you read the fine print, the likelihood of accurate results starts out kinda small at the 5-day mark, increasing as you get closer to your period.
If its way too far from your expected period date, you wont have enough pregnancy hormone in your urine yet to trigger a positive result on the test.
The easiest solution here is to simply wait a few days, or even all the way until youre past due for your period . Even re-testing again in 72 hours, though, could land you a different result.
If You Have An Inconclusive Ultrasound
Even an ultrasound can fail to find a growing fetus if its not looking in the right place. If previous testing has indicated that you arent pregnant, its also possible that an ultrasound technician isnt going to spend a lot of time looking for a growing fetus.
If youre approved to get an ultrasound despite a negative pregnancy test, its possible a pregnancy wont show up in the first trimester because of:
- an irregularity in where the embryo is implanted
- the way your uterus is shaped
- an error on the part of the ultrasound tech
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Youre Not Pregnant Youre Having Drug Side Effects
If youve been having trouble conceiving and are undergoing fertility treatments, remember that those drugs are designed, in part, to elevate your hormone levels.
Therapies that increase progesterone or block estrogen can cause symptoms that mimic both PMS and pregnancy, including nausea, bloating, tender breasts, and changes in mood.
If youre not sure whether your pregnancy-like symptoms are due to actual pregnancy or just a side effect of whatever fertility treatments youre on, give your OB-GYN or reproductive medicine doctor a call. They should know where you are in your cycle and whether its possible you could be pregnant .
Pain Around Your Belly Button
I was fortunate to not experience this, but many of my patients complain about it. Ive seen women actually flinch when I move the transducer over the belly button during an ultrasound. The pain can be quite intense.Theres no one reason for this pain, but its usually due to the changes your body is going through. Your skin and muscles are stretching and your uterus may be pressing up against the belly button. In fact, as your uterus grows, you may find one day that your innie belly button is now an outie! Dont worry, youll become an innie again about six weeks after delivery.Your belly button pain may come and go throughout your pregnancy, but it should subside after you give birth. Try taking pressure off your belly by sleeping on your side and wearing a support belt.If the pain is accompanied by a fever, vomiting, cramping, or bleeding, see your doctor right away to rule out a hernia or other medical condition.
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Not Knowing Can Put Mother And Baby At Risk
Being unaware of your pregnancy means you not only miss out on taking the prenatal vitamins that are super beneficial to your child’s growth and development but you might also continue to drink alcohol or take drugsboth of which can be harmful to the developing baby. And if you have a medical condition like diabetes or high blood pressure, your pregnancy could be in jeopardy without medical intervention, said Dr. Greves.
If you’ve skipped a period or you’re feeling unusually nauseous or exhausted, get in touch with your healthcare provider to find out why. If you are in fact pregnant, the sooner you know it, the betterfor both you and the baby.
Causes Of Stealth Pregnancy
The primary cause of a stealth pregnancy is hormones. Lets look at some of the physiological reasons why a person might have a cryptic pregnancy.
If someone was recently pregnant or recently gave birth, it may take time before their hormones return to their regular cycles. During this time or as long as a person is breastfeeding they may start ovulating without knowing it, which can result in a cryptic pregnancy. Similarly, perimenopause can lead to irregular hormone cycles and cause a cryptic pregnancy.
Even if someone is on birth control, theres still a possibility that they can get pregnant if theyre having unprotected sex. If they continue to take birth control while pregnant, they might not experience pregnancy symptoms and therefore have a cryptic pregnancy.
Stress also influences hormones, so high stress can disrupt common pregnancy symptoms. Low body fat can also trigger hormonal imbalances, which might cause a symptomless pregnancy. Polycystic ovary syndrome , which causes irregular or elongated hormone cycles, can also cause a cryptic pregnancy.
A secondary, less common cause of cryptic pregnancy is certain psychological conditions. Called a denial of pregnancy, it occurs when someone mentally believes they arent pregnant, despite tests showing that they are.
Other factors can interfere with hCG levels, such as antibiotics, medications, or even fertility drugs.
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You’re On Birth Control
Birth controlwhether it’s the pill, patch, ring, implant, IUD, or the shot greatly decreases your chances of conception but does not eliminate your chances altogether. These methods work in various ways for example, IUDs block sperm from reaching the egg, while hormonal contraception prevents the recruitment of a mature egg, explains Dr. Brauer. Even if you’re committed to taking your birth control, you still have to use it correctly and consistently.
Also, if you rely on contraceptive pills, take note: Some pill packs contain four to seven days of sugar pills without any hormones. On rare occasions, this may be long enough to allow for the recruitment of a mature egg. “This is often referred to as ‘escape ovulation’ and is one reason for oral hormonal contraception failure,” says Dr. Brauer. Missing doses of hormonal contraception could also increase the chances of accidental pregnancy.
How hard is it to get pregnant on birth control? If you’re on the birth control pill and following all instructions, then your chances of getting pregnant are generally less than 1%. The effectiveness decreases with “typical use” . According to Planned Parenthood, the typical use rate is 91% effective, meaning that 9 out of 10 people will likely become pregnant while on the pill.
You Have An Urgent Need To Nest
The day before I had my son I just HAD to paint a wall. Just absolutely positively HAD to. So there is me, nine months pregnant and big as a house up a ladder, making sure that wall was absolutely perfect. Most women go into the full on nesting mode just before. You get a surge of energy to make sure the house is clean, the clothes are ready, the floors are vacuumed etc.
You wont be able to sit down the urge to get shit done will be way too strong.
What Tests Confirm That You Are Pregnant
Several tests may be conducted while a woman is pregnant.
The woman’s urine or blood may be tested.
Women may choose to perform a home pregnancy test. This is a urine test kit that can be purchased at a pharmacy or grocery store without a prescription. The test can indicate whether a woman is pregnant. This type of test is known as a qualitative test. It can only test for the presence of the pregnancy hormone, beta-hCG. If a doctor is considering prescribing a medication that might not be appropriate for consumption during pregnancy, one of these simple tests may be performed in the office to determine if a woman is pregnant or to make sure she is not pregnant. If the test is performed very early in a pregnancy, the hormone level may still be negative. Most current home pregnancy tests can show positive results immediately after the first missed menstrual period.
If your OB/GYN or Midwife may order sophisticated tests are called quantitative hCG levels. These tests determine the hCG levels in the bloodstream. This type of test is done by drawing blood for testing. These levels indicate approximately how far along a woman is in her pregnancy. If levels of hCG do not rise as she progresses through her pregnancy, it could indicate a problem pregnancy such as an ectopic pregnancy with low levels or twins with high levels.
A doctor may use sound waves to examine the pelvic structures such as the uterus, ovaries, and the embryo or fetus.
Weird Pregnancy Symptoms You Might Not Know About
Pregnancy can do odd things to your body.
Everyone knows you may have morning sickness or experience weird cravings. But did you know your gums may be sore or bleed during pregnancy, or you may lose some hair after you give birth?
These are just a few less common, but still perfectly normal, symptoms of pregnancy.
My colleagues and I wanted to share some of the strange things we experienced during pregnancy, including why they happen and how you can minimize them. That way, even if your doctor or friends dont warn you about these things, youll be ready should they happen!
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More Signs You Might Miss
If it’s not unusual for you to experience irregular periods, you may not realize you’ve conceived because you’re used to your unpredictable cycle. If you’re carrying extra weight, you might not detect pregnancy weight gain. And if you’ve never been pregnant before, you may not recognize early fetal movementor dismiss it as something else.
If you take a urine pregnancy test at this point, it can come back negative because of something called the “hook effect,” said Dr. Lerner Maslow. This happens after the first trimester when levels of a pregnancy hormone can be so high that they essentially overwhelm the test.
As the pregnancy continues, it’s possible to not notice your belly expanding or to have abdominal growth that’s very hard to detect or barely presents itself . The pregnancy fatigue that many people deal with can easily be confused with other conditions, such as an autoimmune disorder, anemia, or insomnia, Orlando-based ob-gyn Christine Greves, MD, told Health.
Light Spotting And Cramping
Light spotting, also known as implantation bleeding, can occur when the fertilized egg attaches to the uterine lining. This can happen about 10 to 14 days after conception, around the same time that you are supposed to have your period. Light spotting may also be accompanied by cramping, which can feel similar to menstrual cramps.
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Do Virgin Pregnancies Really Happen
Researchers have studied a phenomenon called virgin pregnancy to understand why it would be reported. In a survey of 7,870 pregnant women, they discovered that 0.8 percent of the women reported becoming pregnant without having vaginal sex.
A study like this has limitations, as it involved self-reporting. The researchers noted various cultural and religious expectations in the mix , as well as varying definitions of what sex meant. As such, these numbers dont represent a true picture of the frequency of fertilization without penetration.
Regardless, its likely that some of these women may have defined sex as penis-in-vagina sex. So, if the virgins in the study had other sexual contact, its possible that sperm somehow made its way up the vaginal tract from other acts.
You Use The Pull Out Method
The pull-out method may be the world’s oldest form of birth control, but it’s not foolproof. It can certainly result in pregnancy, but it significantly decreases your chances of getting pregnant. The pull-out method, also known as withdrawal, involves pulling the penis out of the vagina before ejaculating. The problem, however, is that pre-ejaculate or precum, the bodily fluid released from the penis before actual ejaculation, may very well contain active and viable sperm.
Additionally, Mark Trolice, M.D., reproductive endocrinology and infertility specialist at My Fertility CARE: The IVF Center in Winter Park, Florida, explains that most people aren’t aware of when they release this precum. “Because it’s hard to predict when pre-ejaculation occurs, the withdrawal method is often fraught with peril and certainly not the most reliable method out there,” he says.
How hard is it to get pregnant while using withdrawal? Withdrawal is about 96% effective with perfect use and 82% effective with typical use. If you really want to avoid pregnancy, choose a different contraceptive method Planned Parenthood reports that when the withdrawal method is used perfectly, 4 out of 100 people will get pregnant. But since it is nearly impossible to be perfect all the time, the number of people who get pregnant from withdrawal is closer to 22 out of 100 people, or 1 in 5.
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