Description, Causes and Risk Factors:
Pseudocyesis is a condition in which a woman believes that she is pregnant and even apparently gets all the symptoms of pregnancy. The only thing missing is the baby. Pseudocyesis in humans is less common, and may sometimes be purely psychological. It is generally estimated that pseudocyesis is caused due to changes in the Endocrine system of the body, leading to the secretion of hormones which translate into physical changes similar to those during pregnancy.
Pseudocyesis is a psychological condition which occurs when a woman is either desperate for a child, or is overwhelmed by fears that she may be pregnant. It is the result of a delicate mind-body relationship and is proof of the degree to which the mind is able to control the body. An intense desire for a child or a deep depression triggers the pituitary gland into producing elevated hormones which mimic the hormone changes of real pregnancy.
This condition arises mainly when,
Women who have recently suffered miscarriages.
Women who are afraid of an unwanted pregnancy, for example, a rape victim.
Women who have suffered an incestuous relationship.
Women with infertility who have been trying for a child for a long time.
The rate of pseudocyesis has declined significantly in the past century. In the 1940s, there was one occurrence for approximately every 250 pregnancies. This rate has since dropped to between one and six occurrences for every 22,000 births.
Many women suffering from pseudocyesis feel apparent fetal movement. This movement is due to the movement of the intestines bloated with excessive gas.Other symptoms like nausea and vomiting are psychosomatic in nature - which means that the body responds to believes and thoughts present in the mind.Many Healthcare professionals can be deceived by the symptoms associated with pseudocyesis. Research shows that 18% of women with pseudocyesis were at one time diagnosed as pregnant by medical professionals.
The diagnosis of pseudocyesis is extremely difficult, especially at the beginning of a pseudocyesis. The uterus will remain normal in size and successive pregnancy tests, if performed, will be negative. As the pseudocyesis proceeds, a marked increase in weight may occur, together with abdominal and breast enlargement, but the uterus will not enlarge nor will the breasts show active signs of pregnancy. None of the other physical signs of pregnancy will develop and all tests for pregnancy will be negative.
Diagnosis may be confirmed if,
Ultrasound shows an empty uterus.
Pregnancy test is usually negative although rarely, there may be a faintly positive test.
No fetal heart sound can be detected.
The main treatment of pseudocyesis is by Psychotherapy. Most women can be convinced that they are not pregnant by showing them the ultrasound reports. But the underlying psychological problems need to be analyzed and treated by a Psychiatrist.
Other alternative methods of treatment like hypnotherapy have also been tried but may or may not be successful.
NOTE: The above information is for processing purpose. The information provided herein should not be used during any medical emergency or for the diagnosis or treatment of any medical condition.
DISCLAIMER: This information should not substitute for seeking responsible, professional medical care.
Scientists from Heinrich-Heine-University and the IUF-Leibniz Research Institute for Environmental Medicine in Düsseldorf, Germany, suggest that consuming the amount of caffeine equivalent to four cups of coffee might be enough to protect the cells of the heart. In...
Last year a team of researchers from Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute, US, developed a simple blood test for diagnosing ASD (autism spectrum disorder). At the present moment, a follow-up study confirms the original finding. In this test, there is an algorithm that...
Quiz about this article
0 of 2 questions completed
Please answer on few questions to make our service more useful
You have already completed the quiz before. Hence you can not start it again.
Quiz is loading...
You must sign in or sign up to start the quiz.
You have to finish following quiz, to start this quiz:
0 of 2 questions answered correctly
Time has elapsed
You have reached 0 of 0 points, (0)
- Question 1 of 2
Was this article useful for you?Correct
Thanks for your feedback!Incorrect
Thanks for your feedback!
- Question 2 of 2
What else information about this disease you want to know ?Correct
Thanks for feedback!Incorrect
Thanks for feedback!
Good weather is the best reason to do outdoor sports, which will help not only lose weight, but also will strengthen health. Bicycle The sun dries out the local paths, so you can safely sit on your favorite bike and confidently twist the pedals, where the eyes look....read more
First aid for injuries consists of simple rules that need to be clearly implemented. If this is a closed injury, you need to immobilize the injured limb, otherwise the person may lose consciousness from a painful shock. If you need to get to the emergency room...read more
Many people spontaneously decide starting to do sport, while others weigh all the pros and cons for a log time. But almost all of them make the same mistakes, listening to the advice of non experts. There are 10 anti-tips for those who want to do plan to do some sport...read more