Cryptic Pregnancy: Can You Really Be Pregnant Without Knowing It?

Cryptic pregnancy is uncommon, but it's a real condition and somewhat misunderstood. If you believe that you’re pregnant, you should be aware of the following that conventional first-trimester testing methods.

Written by: Onlymyhealth Staff Writer Updated at: 2023-01-03 16:45

Some women have absolutely no idea they are pregnant till they actually deliver their baby- thanks to cryptic pregnancy. Shocked or thrilled? To further know about what is it, let's first know it's meaning.

Cryptic Pregnancy Meaning

Also called a stealth pregnancy, cryptic pregnancy is a pregnancy that conventional medical testing methods may fail to detect. The cryptic pregnancies are not at all common, but they are not unheard of, either.

It can also be confusing and scary to find out that you’re actually pregnant as late at 7, 8, or 9 months into it. With this condition, some women are even taken by surprise by labor pains that are their first real “symptom” of pregnancy.

To know the cryptic pregnancy better, here’s a closer look at the signs, statistics, and stories behind this real condition.

Stealth or cryptic pregnancy symptoms

How a cryptic pregnancy can go undetected? To understand, it helps to grasp what a “normal” pregnancy looks like in its early stages. Usually, after missing a period, a pregnancy test will generally indicate a “positive” result. Further, a blood test, urine testing, and an ultrasound will then confirm the pregnancy. Maximum people notice symptoms of pregnancy such as 1. tender and swollen breasts 2. mood swings 3. fatigue, and 4. nausea early on during the first trimester.

In cases of cryptic pregnancy, nothing sets off the chain of events which leads to discovering that you’re pregnant. The possibilities are that a pregnancy test may come back negative even after you’ve missed your period. You may dismiss early pregnancy nausea as indigestion or stomach flu. Or maybe you’ve been told that your periods don’t come regularly, to begin with, or you have infertility, meaning that pregnancy isn’t a possibility you would be prone to consider.

And if you're pregnant but aren’t aware of it, then missing pregnancy symptoms can add to the confusion. And especially if you’ve never been pregnant before, it’s easy to dismiss pregnancy symptoms such as 1. fetal movement, 2. slight weight gain, and 3. fatigue due to lifestyle or dietary choices.

However, low levels of pregnancy hormones can also mean that your pregnancy symptoms are close to impossible to notice.

Cryptic Pregnancy Causes

Fluctuating hormones also leads to slight bleeding that resembles a 'period'. However, if you’re not missing your period and feel mostly the same as usual, then why would you take a pregnancy test?

Combined with the common causes of cryptic pregnancy, this line of reasoning is how many people can go months without knowing they’re pregnant.

Conditions linked with cryptic pregnancy include:

1. Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome (PCOS): This condition can create hormonal imbalances, limit your fertility and cause irregular periods.

2. Birth control pills: It can make you feel confident that pregnancy just isn’t a possibility for you. For preventing a pregnancy these methods are very effective, there are some examples when you can get pregnant even on birth control in place.

Also, remember that if you feel like you just can’t handle being pregnant or you’re in distress there are resources for you.

Read more articles on Women's Health


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