False Pregnancy: Also known as pseudocyesis or Phantom Pregnancy

Each and every couple after marriage is keen to take their relationship a step further. They want to become parents at some or the other point of life. For some couples, it is very easy to get pregnant. But, for others, it becomes a long process. They have to take a lot of treatments and go through various In vitro fertilization procedures. And sometimes even then they do not get the desired result. This entire process and the feeling of being infertile becomes very depressive and results in false pregnancy in women.

What is the false pregnancy?

false pregnancy

Some people might find it funny, but, false pregnancy is totally true.  There are various reasons that lead to false pregnancy. Few of these reasons are the inability to conceive, miscarriages, loss of a baby or some serious disease like ovarian cancer or ovarian cysts. The mind takes control of the body and there are changes in the endocrine system of the body. This leads to the secretion of hormones that cause changes to the body. These changes are similar to the changes that the body go through when pregnant.

Signs and symptoms of False Pregnancy

The signs and symptoms of false pregnancy are almost similar to that of an actual pregnancy. The symptoms of false pregnancy include morning sickness, enlargement, and tenderness of breasts, weight gain. About 60 % – 90% of women also have enlargement of the abdomen called abdominal distension. Many women also experience fake fetal movements called quickening. They may also secrete colostrum from their breasts.  Some women also experience softening of the cervix and false labour pains.

False Pregnancy: Also known as pseudocyesis or Phantom Pregnancy

Treatment of false (Phantom) pregnancy

First of all, you can get a pregnancy test kit and do the pregnancy urine test at home. The pregnancy test kit may give you false positive results due to hormonal disturbance or due to the fact that you might have actually fallen pregnant for some time and then had a spontaneous loss. Further, the doctor will perform an abdominal ultrasound and urine analysis. If you are pregnant it is well and good.

If a tumour is suspected, the tumour will be removed and treated accordingly.

In most of the cases, it is important to help women understand and cope with the reasons of false pregnancy. Emotional support and proper psychotherapy is the best way to treat false pregnancy. Make sure that you never insist to the patient that she is not pregnant. Just the lab findings should be informed to the patient. The most effective way is to demonstrate through an ultrasound to the patient that she is not really pregnant.