Well, this has happened with many women in reality where a pregnant woman does not know that she is pregnant. This condition is called Cryptic pregnancy or stealth pregnancy.
What is cryptic pregnancy?
Imagine a situation when you are suffering from severe pelvic pain, you rush to the emergency department and you are shocked to know that it is labour pain and you are going to deliver a baby!
Well, this has happened with many women in reality where a pregnant woman does not know that she is pregnant. This condition is called Cryptic pregnancy or stealth pregnancy. This article gives you a brief outline about cryptic pregnancy.
In cryptic pregnancy, women have no idea that they are pregnant until very late into their pregnancy or until they go into labour pain. Although cryptic pregnancy is rare but it is 3 times more common than the probability of having triplets.
Cryptic pregnancy can occur in any women. However, women with some specific conditions have higher chances of having cryptic pregnancy than others.
What are the risk factors for cryptic pregnancy?
- Polycystic ovarian syndrome (PCOS)- In PCOS periods are irregular and unpredictable. As women with PCOS often face missed periods, skipping periods is normal for them and that’s why they may not realize that they have conceived and are pregnant even if they miss their periods.
- Lactating women- Within the first 6 months after giving birth, breastfeeding women has high levels of prolactin hormone in their body which leads to lactational amenorrhea. Women who conceive and become pregnant in this period, assume that they are missing their periods due to lactational amenorrhea rather than pregnancy.
- Perimenopausal period- Women in their perimenopausal period start facing irregular periods and mistaken symptoms of pregnancy for menopausal symptoms.
- Mentally retarded- Mentally sick or retarded women don’t have the ability to appreciate the changes in their body due to pregnancy which may result in cryptic pregnancy.
- Contraceptives- People using contraceptives presume that they are 100% protected from pregnancy and can’t get pregnant. However, contraceptive failure is not uncommon which leads to pregnancy.
What are the Causes of cryptic pregnancy?
Causes of cryptic pregnancy includes the following-
- Self-pregnancy test with home pregnancy kits without having the knowledge of how to use these kits.
- False negative Urine pregnancy test (UPT).
- No symptoms of early pregnancy such as missed period, nausea, vomiting or breast tenderness etc.
- Spotting or light bleeding- In early pregnancy, some women may experience slight bleeding or spotting and misinterpret it as having normal period.
Will Cryptic pregnancy show on ultrasound?
Well, the answer to this question is definitely YES. Cryptic pregnancy can be diagnosed with the help of following tests-