What Is Cryptic Pregnancy?

cryptic pregnancy

Have you heard of cryptic pregnancy before? It has been in the news quite a few times these days.

Cryptic pregnancy, in simple words, is a condition in which the pregnancy is not discovered until after at least 20 weeks or so. And, while it might sound a little far-fetched, it is more common than you would expect. Research indicates that every 1 in 475 pregnancies can in some way be classified as a kind of cryptic pregnancy.

However, what is rare, is the fact that sometimes women don’t even know that they are pregnant right until delivery time. It is estimated that, across the world, every 1 in 2500 pregnancies is somehow like this.

So, how does a pregnancy go unnoticed?

Usually, a pregnancy goes unnoticed for at least 20 weeks (in the case of a cryptic pregnancy) due to one of the following reasons –

  • The primary reason why women are unable to notice the pregnancy is because they don’t get any symptoms. They don’t have the usual symptoms such as fatigue, nausea, vomiting, or anything else. Some women don’t even miss their period; and, hence, the pregnancy is difficult to detect.
  • In some cases, the symptoms are so scarce that women associate them with other conditions such as indigestion or fatigue. They try to treat that problem instead of addressing the pregnancy.
  • In the case of cryptic pregnancies, the baby bump is also quite small and, often, not noticeable. Most women that go through a cryptic pregnancy, often associate this small bump with a simple case of weight gain.
  • In the case of cryptic pregnancies, women might see some small symptoms and take a pregnancy test as well. However, in such cases, the pregnancy test also gives a false negative. It gives them a sense of assurance that they are not pregnant.

What causes a cryptic pregnancy?

what is cryptic pregnancy

A cryptic pregnancy can happen due to a lot of reasons ranging from contraceptive methods used by the woman to hormonal issues to lifestyle problems as well. Some health conditions can also cause a cryptic pregnancy.

Sometimes Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome (PCOS) can also cause a cryptic pregnancy. It causes fertility problems and also causes irregular periods, weight gain, and digestive distress. Hence, women suffering from PCOS often dismiss all symptoms of pregnancy as some kind of symptom or complication of PCOS itself.

Perimenopause also has similar symptoms such as pregnancy and can cause women to mistake their pregnancy to be a sign of menopause setting in. A woman in such a condition may be getting ready to start a new phase of her life.

Risk Due to Cryptic Pregnancies

The major risk of cryptic pregnancies is the fact that the mother gets no medical care and attention throughout the pregnancy period. She is devoid of all the necessary things including doctor visits, proper diet, exercise, and more that is needed for a healthy pregnancy and a healthy baby.

Such a situation can also pose several risks to the baby’s health. The baby doesn’t get the adequate nutrition that he or she should get and it can lead to certain serious health problems after birth as well.

Hence, the mother and the baby need to undergo a lot of tests and take proper care after birth so that their health can be ensured. If you or someone you know has just had a cryptic pregnancy, don’t worry; seek proper medical attention and everything will be okay.