Is it possible to not know that you’re pregnant? Know everything about cryptic pregnancy

Did you know some women don't even realise that they are pregnant until delivery? Wondering how that's possible? Let's find out!

Dr Sabita Kumari Published on: 3 December 2022, 10:30 am IST
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While most women experience signs and symptoms of pregnancy, there are some women who might not be aware of their pregnancy. It might sound bizarre, but it is an actual problem that some pregnant women face. It is called cryptic pregnancy or stealth pregnancy.

We are not bluffing! Scroll down to know more about cryptic pregnancy and how it goes unnoticed.

What is cryptic pregnancy?

As the name suggests, cryptic means being unaware of the pregnancy. It denotes that the lady may be pregnant, but she is unaware of her pregnancy and learns about it only closer to the date of delivery.

cryptic pregnancy
What is cryptic pregnancy? Image courtesy: Shutterstock

It may sound a little difficult to believe that a pregnant lady doesn’t know about the pregnancy, especially when it shows many symptoms like nausea, vomiting, weight gain, baby bump, lack of periods, swelling, cramps and more. There are several cases where it has happened, and it does not surprise the Doctors anymore.

Also Read: Can pregnancy symptoms show up within 10 days of conceiving?

So, what causes cryptic pregnancy?

There are multiple reasons why a cryptic pregnancy happens, here are some of the common factors:

1. Birth control pills

The woman may be on contraceptives or having safe sex with her partner making her believe it is safe because of the measures undertaken. However, continued use of birth control can hinder with pregnancy symptoms, and women may not experience them.

2. Irregular periods

The woman may already be suffering from PCOS or irregular periods because of some underlying health issue which makes her believe that nothing abnormal is happening in her body, and she does not link the lack of periods to pregnancy.

cryptic pregnancy
Irregular periods can be a sign of cryptic pregnancy. Image Courtesy; Shutterstock

3. Placenta Accreta

In some women, some weeks after conception the would-be baby might get attached to one side of the uterus leading to intermittent bleeding. Some women who don’t bleed heavily during periods might see this as a sign of regular periods, where actually it is a sign of pregnancy.

4. Wrong pregnancy test results

Some women take pregnancy tests from different pregnancy kits available- these though are touted as highly accurate, but a lot of time doesn’t give the right result. Since the kit has given a negative result- the said women may ignore the signs of pregnancy.

5. No pregnancy symptoms

No accompanying signs of pregnancy like nausea, vomiting, weight gain, swelling in the feet, cramping or tenderness in the breast, you would continue to believe that you don’t have life living in you.

Also Read: 6 common questions about pregnancy care answered by an expert

6. Baby’s not active

The baby is not super active, and you don’t feel any kicks- that is also quite possible.

7. Complications

The woman had failed pregnancy, and doctors told her that she would not be able to conceive in the normal course. It could also happen when the lady might be old and close to the menopause stage making her believe that she is not pregnant.

8. Medications

Some women have medical issues for which they are taking regular medicines- the Docs may have told the lady concerned that as long as she continues with the medication- the possibility of her conceiving is very low. This may also lead women to ignore signs of pregnancy.

cryptic pregnancy
Certain medication can up the risk of cryptic pregnancy. Image Courtesy: Shutterstock

9. Ignorance

Some women are mentally not prepared to bear a child and that might make them think that she is not pregnant and ignore all the symptoms that might be pointing to pregnancy.

Cryptic pregnancy could happen due to multiple reasons. It is imperative to check with your doctor to avoid complications.

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About the Author
Dr Sabita Kumari Dr Sabita Kumari

Dr Sabita Kumari, Senior Consultant, Obstetrician, Accord Super Speciality Hospital, Faridabad, Haryana.

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