A mystery pregnancy occurs when a person doesn't realize their expectations until mid- pregnancy and sometimes even before labor or delivery. Available research suggests that pregnancies, also called "hidden" or "denied" pregnancies, go unnoticed or unnoticed in up to 1 in 475 pregnancies up to 20 weeks (5 months).
There are several potential causes of a mystery pregnancy, such as the absence of typical pregnancy symptoms, a false negative pregnancy test result, or, less commonly, rejection due to mental health issues.
There appear to be no specific risk factors, as experts were unable to identify a set of specific characteristics that could increase the likelihood of a mystery pregnancy.
If there are signs of pregnancy, they may be diminished or vague enough to be attributed to another cause. For example, morning sickness can be attributed to an upset stomach or missing a period for menstrual irregularities.
Since there are no clear signs of latent pregnancy, it can be difficult to recognize and diagnose, even for family members and healthcare professionals. For this reason, it is necessary to raise awareness and educate about latent pregnancy so that medical tests can be performed, if necessary, in people with even vague pregnancy symptoms.
While there is no universal reason for a mystery pregnancy, experts have identified several different scenarios that can contribute to an undetected pregnancy:
- No pregnancy symptoms : Common pregnancy symptoms, such as nausea, pelvic cramps, lower back pain, and an enlarged abdomen, look and feel differently for each person and can go unnoticed.
- Irregular menstrual cycle : Irregular periods can make it difficult to determine if you've missed a period, especially if your cycle is longer than the 28-day average. For those who do not have many periods in a year, not having a period may not be a direct alarm for pregnancy.
- Recurrent spotting – The bleeding and spotting that can occur during pregnancy can be mistaken for a mild period.
- Age and fertility problems : Pregnancy symptoms can sometimes reflect symptoms of early menopause , while a previous infertility diagnosis can make it difficult to imagine the possibility of pregnancy.
- Inaccurate pregnancy test results : Pregnancy tests are usually quite accurate, but there are potential for errors that can lead to a false negative result when a person is actually pregnant.
- No noticeable baby bump : The belly during pregnancy may be masked if the person is overweight or obese, or there may be factors that lead to less weight gain during pregnancy.
- Lack of sensation of movement of the baby : The location of the fetus and the placenta can affect the way in which a pregnant person can feel the fetal movement. With an anterior placenta , it may take longer to feel the movements and it may be more difficult to recognize.
- Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome (PCOS) : PCOS can cause hormonal imbalances that can disrupt ovulation and lead to unexpected pregnancies that can go unnoticed.
- Use of contraceptives : Birth control is not always reliable. Even if taken correctly, it is possible to get pregnant.
- Recent pregnancy : The timing of postpartum fertility varies from person to person, so ovulation may occur earlier than you think. After a recent birth, the first signs of pregnancy may not be so obvious.
- Mental illness : While this seems rarer, some research has shown that certain mental health disorders can make it difficult to accept the reality of pregnancy, leading to denial.
Even with studies showing that pregnancies can go unnoticed until birth in 1 in 2,455 pregnancies, researchers haven't found any clear identifying risk factors that can make a person more prone to mystery pregnancies.
Not knowing about pregnancy, even if it is only the first 20 weeks, can endanger the health of both mother and baby. When a person does not realize that they are pregnant, they do not receive the prenatal care that is essential for a healthy pregnancy .
Research shows that babies born to latent pregnancies are more likely to be underweight and to be born prematurely .
During an incomprehensible pregnancy, the baby will not be properly monitored and medical professionals will not have information about possible abnormalities, complications, or the safest method of delivery. Prenatal complications such as hypertension, gestational diabetes , and pre-eclampsia go unnoticed.
Also, a pregnant woman may have used alcohol or tobacco, which is unsafe during pregnancy. Also, if the latent pregnancy lasts until the time of birth, the person may not realize that they are in labor when they start and may have to give birth without any help.
Not knowing that you are pregnant until 20 weeks or later can be a stressful experience and trigger many different emotions. Note that you can speak with your healthcare professional to confirm your pregnancy diagnosis and get advice on pregnancy and postpartum support.
If you are diagnosed with a latent pregnancy before labor and delivery, talk to your healthcare professional about prenatal care. While it is possible to deliver a healthy baby even if you have no idea that you are pregnant, it is also a good idea to get proper prenatal care to increase the chances of your baby being healthy and minimize health risks.
Childbirth is a big change, especially if it is unexpected, so it is normal to feel anxious, doubtful or tired after giving birth. Perinatal depression (depression that can occur within a few weeks after delivery) is common but treatable.
Talk to your doctor or seek medical help right away if symptoms such as irritability, sadness, persistent doubts about caring for your baby, loss of interest in enjoyable activities, and trouble connecting with your baby interfere with your daily life.
If you notice any unusual or new symptoms that may be related to your menstrual cycle that could indicate a hidden pregnancy, take a pregnancy test and call your healthcare provider or other healthcare professional if it is positive or if you are still concerned afterwards. of a negative test result. …
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From the outside, it may seem difficult to understand how you can miss the signs of pregnancy, but a mysterious pregnancy still occurs. Keep in mind that each person's pregnancy is different and even the same person can have different pregnancies.
Raising awareness about hidden pregnancy can help expand access to prenatal care in these situations, hopefully improving the health of both mother and baby.
Remember, if you are sexually active and experience a vague and unexplained pregnancy-related symptom, it is recommended that you take a pregnancy test and see your doctor to confirm the diagnosis.