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Phantom pregnancy: Causes and symptoms

Photo Credit: Healthline

False pregnancy, also known as pseudocyesis is when a woman believes she is pregnant but hasn't conceived and no baby is growing inside her. Even though they are not pregnant, patients with pseudocyesis experience pregnancy symptoms such as missed periods, phantom fetal movements, and an expanding tummy, and these symptoms can cause a woman to believe she is pregnant.

Photo Credit: Times of India

Causes of phantom pregnancy

There is no explanation for why some women develop pseudocyesis. However, some psychologists believe it has something to do with a strong desire or dread of being pregnant. It's likely that this has an impact on the endocrine system which results in pregnancy symptoms. 

Sometimes, depressive illnesses are linked to chemical alterations in the neural system. These chemical changes are to blame for misleading pregnancy symptoms. The most effective strategy to end a false pregnancy is to provide a woman confirmation that she isn't pregnant using imaging tools such as an ultrasound.

Photo Credit: Africa Parent

Symptoms of false pregnancy

The most common physical symptom is a swollen belly, which looks like a baby bump. When a growing fetus grows, the belly can begin to enlarge, just as it does during pregnancy. This abdominal expansion isn't the outcome of a baby during a fake pregnancy. Instead, it's thought to be the result of an accumulation of gas, fat, feces, and urine.

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Times of India

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