Can You Be Pregnant And Not Know

The Symptoms Of Pregnancy

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

But if awareness of pregnancy can now be regarded as a notorious fact, what are the symptoms that any woman would recognise? And how could they still be overlooked, dismissed or ascribed to another cause?

Absence of menstrual periods is the most common early symptom of pregnancy. However, there are many reasons why a woman may not menstruate regularly, including some medical disorders and factors such as poor diet or stress. Women approaching the menopause are likely to have disrupted menstruation and some women stop having periods altogether when taking the contraceptive pill. Conversely, menstruallike bleeding during pregnancy is reported, although not explained, in around 1% of women.

Morning sickness, the most common pregnancy symptom portrayed in the media and drama, is experienced by around 70% of pregnant women but varies widely in severity and duration and may again be attributed to numerous other causes.

/6is There No Fetal Movement In Such Pregnancies

According to a research paper titled Denial of pregnancy: obstetrical aspects, there have been cases of cryptic pregnancy when women have felt no fetal movement at all. In other cases of cryptic pregnancies in the early weeks, women may mistake fetal movement as abdominal gas, especially if they have not experienced pregnancy before.

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 .

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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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Not Knowing Can Put Mother And Baby At Risk

Can Someone Be 6 Weeks Pregnant &  Not Know?

Being unaware of your pregnancy means you not only miss out on taking the prenatal vitamins that are super beneficial to your childs 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 youve skipped a period or youre 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.

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Who Is Likely To Have A Cryptic Pregnancy

  • Women who recently gave birth. Even if she just had a baby, its possible for ovulation to restart sooner than she expected. Shes probably not expecting her period yet so she may assume any weight gain or abdominal swelling are from the previous pregnancy.
  • Polycystic ovary syndrome . If theyve been diagnosed with PCOS or infertility, they wont think theyre pregnant now.Birth control use: Birth control isnt always foolproof. Even when used correctly, its possible to become pregnant. Those who use birth control may assume theyre safe and ignore pregnancy symptoms.
  • Perimenopause. Women in their late 30s or early 40s could mistake pregnancy symptoms with early menopause. They might also think that their chances of conceiving are lower because of their age.

What Causes A Cryptic Pregnancy

Research is still limited when it comes to cryptic pregnancies. However, experts think some of the following factors contribute to a person not realizing they are pregnant:

  • Assumptions, meaning individuals don’t believe they could become pregnant or are pregnant for various reasons
  • Unexpected symptom experience, meaning individuals don’t experience what is generally expected when it comes to pregnancy symptoms
  • Life circumstances, such as age, family history, and/or past or ongoing trauma
  • Conditions, including mental, developmental, and medical conditions

While someone being pregnant and not knowing it may seem difficult for many to understand, limited discussions and research on the topic continues to contribute to the lack of awareness around this uncommon, but real condition.

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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.

What Are The Outcomes Of A Cryptic Pregnancy

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Having regular checkups and appropriate prenatal care helps keep both women and their babies healthy.

If you donât know you are pregnant, you wonât get the health care you and your baby need. This puts you both at greater risk for several, potentially serious health problems.

Women with cryptic pregnancies are more likely to give birth outside of a hospital and without medical care. Giving birth unexpectedly can be a traumatic experience and cause mental health issues that will need to be worked through with professional help.

Like many babies whose mothers did not have access to prenatal care, babies born from cryptic pregnancies are more likely to be premature, underweight, or generally small for their gestational age. Babies from cryptic pregnancies also have an increased risk of stillbirth, infant death, and neglect.

Show Sources

Cleveland Clinic: âCan You Be Pregnant and Not Know It?â âPlacenta,â âPregnancy: Am I Pregnant?â âPregnancy: Prenatal Care.”

Mayo Clinic: “Is implantation bleeding normal in early pregnancy?” âSymptoms of pregnancy: What happens first.â

National Center for Biotechnology Information: âDenial of pregnancy â a literature review and discussion of ethical and legal issues,â âNot your average birth: considering the possibility of denied or concealed pregnancy,â âThe evolutionary biology of cryptic pregnancy: A reappraisal of the âdenied pregnancyâ phenomenon.â

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Frequency Of Denied Labor

While it is a bit more rare to not know of a pregnancy until youre in labor, about one in 2,455 births happen under this circumstance . To that into perspective, it means that a woman is three times more likely to give birth without knowing she was pregnant as to give birth to triplets .

In a country the size of Germany, where the research was conducted, this means that about 300 mothers a year would not know they were pregnant until they started labor.

The researchers proposed that a specific category of medical classification be added under reproductive dysfunction for negated pregnancies. This would include denied or concealed pregnancies. It may also include false pregnancy , obsessive desire to have children and other pathological behavior of a mother towards her offspring.

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 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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Coping With A Cryptic Pregnancy

Not knowing you are pregnant until the 20-week mark or later can be incredibly stressful. You may feel confused, overwhelmed, trapped, angry, shocked, worried, as well as upset about being pregnant or missing out on the full pregnancy experience.

Know that any way you feel is valid and it’s totally normal to feel a complex mix of emotions that may change as you continue to process the pregnancy.

If your cryptic pregnancy is diagnosed before you go into labor, you still have time to talk to your provider about prenatal care and pregnancy choices. They can offer support, resources, and guidance concerning:

  • What to expect as the pregnancy progresses
  • How to best prepare for labor and delivery
  • Abortion, along with associated risks depending on your specific circumstance
  • Adoption services

But How Could You Not Know

All you need to know about implantation bleeding

Charlene had never felt her baby kick because her placenta was in an unusual spot, so when she started experiencing severe abdominal pain and went to hospital, a pregnancy test quickly revealed she was 40-weeks pregnant.

“I was pretty shocked. I thought it was kidney stones or something,” the surprised new mum said in perhaps the understatement of the year.

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Wait Could I Be Having A Cryptic Pregnancy

Chances are, probably not. Because its rare. But someone who is unaware that theyre pregnant might not know they need to adjust their lifestyle or get the necessary care. We want people to enter prenatal care early in their first trimester whenever possible, said Dr. Addante. Just to make sure that we are maximizing the health outcomes of their pregnancy.

Tracking your period, staying in tune with how your body feels, and using a reliable form of contraception may help mitigate the risk, the docs said. And according to Dr. Addante, if you start feeling something move inside you, take a pregnancy test.

Continued Periods/bleeding In Cryptic Pregnancy

Another answer to the question, can you be pregnant and not know? is yes if bleeding or spotting during pregnancy is mistaken for menstruation. Bleeding during pregnancy doesnt always equal miscarriage.

Bleeding or spotting during pregnancy can happen when the embryo attaches to the wall of the uterus, as the endometrial lining sheds, and it can occur throughout the pregnancy as the cervix changes.

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Possible Reasons You Are Not Aware Of Your Pregnancy

Can you be pregnant and not know it? Yes, and there are two theories as to why women have cryptic pregnancies, meaning they arent aware they are pregnant. The first is that they deny the pregnancy, and the second is that their symptoms are not obvious.

1. Overweight or Obese

Some women who are obese or overweight arent necessarily aware of the typical physical changes of a fetus developing inside them, and the excess fat may insulate them from noticing the baby move or kick. It also bears noting that a woman who is overweight can often experience menstrual irregularities. This is because fat stored in the posterior and abdomen manufactures androstenedione, which is then turned into estrogen, throwing the hormones out of balance.

2. Hormonal Imbalance or Irregular Periods

If your periods are often irregular, you wouldnt necessarily think that missed period equals pregnancy, and cryptic pregnancies sometimes occur in women who have a hormonal imbalance such as:

  • Poly Cystic Ovarian Syndrome .
  • You have a very low body fat ratio, causing a hormonal imbalance, such as female athletes.
  • Youve recently been pregnant, and your hormones havent gotten back to normal before getting pregnant again.
  • You are still breastfeeding before getting pregnant again.
  • You have recently used or are currently using a birth control that continually releases hormones into your body.

3. Pre-Existing Conditions

4. A Negative Pregnancy Test

5. Peri-Menopause

6. No tell-Tale Symptoms

7. Stress

How Does A Cryptic Pregnancy Go Undetected In Ultrasound

How to Confirm Pregnancy Without Taking a Test

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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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.

Cryptic Pregnancy: How Common It Is Symptoms And Complications

Cryptic pregnancy, also known as unknown pregnancy, is when a pregnant person is unaware they are expecting. Here’s what you need to know.

Weve all heard stories about someone who didnt realize they were pregnant for months. While it might sound hard to believe, Dr. Yolanda Kirkham, an obstetrician and gynecologist at St. Josephs Health Centre of Unity Health in Toronto, says shes seen it in her own practice. I have personally had a patient roll into labour and delivery in full labour and not realize they were pregnant, she says. This person was experiencing whats called cryptic pregnancy.

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Can You Eat Hickory Farms Sausage While Pregnant

The variety of summer sausage options has grown over the years because of the hundreds of varieties that different manufacturers have produced. Summer sausage is often a favorite among most people, particularly expectant mothers.

The most well-known summer sausages include Klements Garlic Summer Sausage, Dan the Sausagemans, and Hickory Farms Farmhouse Sausage. Due to its long shelf life, most people take summer sausage with them when they go hiking or camping.

Although most people find summer sausage to be tasty. Pregnant women often get trapped in the debate of whether these are safe for them or not. In this post, well answer this question.

What Is Cryptic Pregnancy

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Cryptic pregnancy is a type of pregnancy that lacks observable pregnancy symptoms not until the 20th week or fifth month of the pregnancy. This is why it is also called stealth pregnancy.

There is still a lot to uncover about cryptic pregnancy and why it happens. For example, aside from the absence of expected symptoms, the condition also gives a false negative pregnancy test if you use at-home urine pregnancy test kits.

In addition, theres also a good chance that during an ultrasound, the technician may not detect the fetus because of the atypical embryo implantation.

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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.

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