Are you in pain? Do you feel sick? Have you missed your period? These are symptoms that could be signs of being pregnant, but when a woman has a false pregnancy she experiences all of these symptoms without actually being pregnant. How can this psychological phenomenon be explained?
False pregnancy is a psychological condition that affects some women. A woman’s body reacts as though she were pregnant, although no foetus has been conceived. Symptoms include missing periods, feeling pain, having nausea, feeling tired and other common pregnancy symptoms which occur for no apparent reason.
How can these symptoms be explained?
False pregnancy is a condition of the nervous system. It is attributed to either the overriding desire to have children or, conversely, the fear of getting pregnant. Depending on the situation, this desire or anxiety affects the nervous and hormonal system. Other personal situations can lead to phantom pregnancy, including family problems, miscarriage and stress.
What are the symptoms of a false pregnancy?
The symptoms of a false pregnancy are similar to the symptoms of a real pregnancy: morning sickness, pain, weight gain, painful and swollen breasts. Some women even have more pronounced symptoms, such as spasms that they associate with the baby moving.
How is it detected?
If in doubt, it is important to do a pregnancy test or an ultrasound to confirm pregnancy, or not. If the analysis shows no sign of fecundation in the endometrium or there is no sign of the baby’s heartbeat, pregnancy is ruled out.
What does treatment consist of?
False pregnancy is a psychosomatic condition, during which the body manifests a desire or anxiety. Women who experience false pregnancy can be helped either by talking with a doctor or psychologist, or by eliminating stress and tension. It is essential for the woman affected to be able to express her emotions and listen to her body. We recommend that women who are in this situation do not go through it alone, but that they seek help from an expert (psychotherapist, psychologist or psychiatrist). This will be important for overcoming the problem without experiencing any consequences later on.