False pregnancy: causes and symptoms

Sometimes the desire to become a mother against the backdrop of unsuccessful attempts to become pregnant is so strong that a woman develops an abnormal psychophysical condition called a false pregnancy . And this is far from a whim, fiction or whim – this is a rather serious pathology, in which a woman in the full sense of the word feels herself to be a future mother. And both in psychological and physical terms. 

False pregnancy is a condition when a woman stops having her periods, swells her breasts, and her stomach begins to grow. Particularly sensitive natures can even feel the tremors of the baby in the womb! But, unfortunately, any gynecologist at the first examination will dispel all the hopes of a pseudopregnant and transfer it to the hands of another specialist – a psychiatrist. Alas, this is so. 

But why, for what reasons can such a mental disorder develop? What causes a woman’s brain and body to be in a state of false pregnancy?


The risk group for pseudopregnancy includes women who are too susceptible, suspicious, who have experienced strong emotional or mental shocks. Thoughts about the pregnancy itself in such women acquire the character of an obsessive state. Moreover, the emotional background of these thoughts is either overly positive or, on the contrary, extremely negative.

Typically, these are women over 35 years old, all attempts to conceive a child have failed. There are other causes of false pregnancy . These include: 

· Miscarriages that ended all previous pregnancies.

· Death of an already born baby.

· A persistent desire to conceive a child in order to maintain a relationship with a man.

· Pregnancy of a girlfriend or several friends at once, which has become a strong emotional shock for a woman.

· Thoughts on aging and early menopause, before which a woman insanely wants to become a mother.

Somatic pathologies, for example, the formation of a tumor in the ovaries or a dysfunction of the endocrine system, the manifestations of which a woman can interpret as pregnancy.

Very rarely, but still there is such a factor as extreme unwillingness to have children, fear of becoming pregnant, fear of bearing the fetus, childbirth, further need to care for him.

Symptoms of False Pregnancy

In addition to the signs of false pregnancy mentioned at the very beginning, such an unusual psychophysical state is manifested by the following symptoms:

· Lack of menstruation or minor spotting on critical days. Moreover, the normal cycle cannot be restored on its own – for this the woman will have to undergo special treatment.

The appearance of morning sickness, vomiting.

· An increase in the volume of the mammary glands.

· Weight gain.

· Growth of the abdomen.

· Formation of a typical bend of the spine in pregnant women (lordosis).

· Increased fatigue.

· Variability of mood.

· Moodiness, tearfulness, increased emotional sensitivity.

The most interesting thing is that a woman in a state of false pregnancy is not trying to deceive anyone – she really thinks that she is carrying a baby, really is preparing to become a mother soon.  

The usual pregnancy test can dispel doubts. A visit to a gynecologist, possibly an endocrinologist and a psychotherapist, is also mandatory.

The state of false pregnancy does not require any specific treatment. However, in the case of a persistent refusal to believe in her “non-pregnancy”, a woman may need the help of a neurologist, psychologist, and psychotherapist. In patients with neurosis-like reactions and mental disorders, the news of a failed pregnancy can cause stress, depression, and suicidal thoughts. In this case, psychiatric treatment is necessary. 

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