Anecdotes from users who discovered they were pregnant months after conception or, shockingly, even until they go into labor are common on TikTok. This pregnancy is often referred to as a cryptic or secret pregnancy. People who obviously have a lot of questions about what a cryptic pregnancy is, how it occurs, how widespread the issue is, and other topics rush the comments section whenever one of the personal stories, posts, or videos is spotted. If you have any questions regarding cryptic pregnancies, you may read more information about them below.
CRYPTIC PREGNANCY: WHAT IS IT? According to Karenne Fru, M.D., Ph.D., F.A.C.O.G., an ob-gyn and fertility specialist at Oma Fertility , a cryptic pregnancy is one that is undetected for longer than “the first” 20 weeks of the pregnancy or until birth.
Other words that occasionally describe the same phenomenon may be heard. Ob-gyn Cynthia Wesley, M.D. notes that the terms “cryptic” and “stealth pregnancy” can be used interchangeably. “Before “psychology professor” Marco Del Giudice raised attention to putative physiologic contributing factors, the phrase “denied pregnancy” was used. In 2006, he introduced the phrase “cryptic pregnancy.” “These physiological variables can prevent a person from realizing they are pregnant, such as irregular menstrual cycles or a history of infertility.
If you’ve ever been pregnant or have learned about the experience of pregnancy, you’ll recognize the cryptic pregnancy signs to watch out for. According to Dr. Fru, the primary symptoms are comparable to those of any pregnancy and include nausea, sensitivity to tastes or scents, exhaustion, heartburn, and gas. Most pregnancies are characterized by the absence of a period, but cryptic pregnancies are less likely to present with this symptom since some bleeding may occur, giving the expectant mother reason to doubt her pregnancy. This bleeding resembles a period, but it is not a true period.
You might be wondering why the pregnant person doesn’t identify the symptoms with pregnancy since they are so recognisable. According to Dr. Fru, these symptoms frequently go unnoticed or are attributed to unrelated conditions in cryptic pregnancies.
Dr. Fru continues, “In addition, there might not be a noticeable change in look for the pregnant individual, resulting in lack of suspicion of pregnancy.” Dr. Wesley says, “Occasionally, the fetus is smaller than typical. There are situations when a woman’s habitus, or physical build, makes it challenging to perceive a pregnancy bump.
HOW RARE ARE CRYPTIC ABORTION? You could imagine that mentions of cryptic pregnancies are more common than they are because they intrigue viewers, as shown by the TikTok posts. cryptic pregnancies are uncommon, according to Dr. Wesley. “According to Research data from 2002, almost one in every 475 ‘pregnant’ women don’t find out they’re expecting until they’re more than 20 weeks along. Only 1 in 2,500 women have cryptic pregnancies that are discovered at the time of delivery.” Therefore, even though the later cases are frequently the ones that receive the most public attention, they only account for a small portion of all cryptic pregnancies.
WHAT DEFINE CRYPTIC PREGNANCIES AND THEIR CAUSES? a plethora of risk variables that could raise the likelihood of a mysterious pregnancy in you. According to Dr. Fru, women with a history of infertility or irregular menstrual cycles are more likely to experience cryptic pregnancies. “For the latter, ovulation is such an unpredictable event that they may not think much about missing a few months of periods,” the author writes. “For the former, they may not feel they can spontaneously conceive.” Additionally, early pregnancy might result in spotting, and the expecting mother may mistake the bleeding for a regular period. According to Dr. Wesley, “some ladies have actually taken a pregnancy test that was negative.” It’s crucial to keep in mind that urine pregnancy tests may produce false negative results.
These aren’t the only folks who can become pregnant mysteriously. The continuing of hormonal contraceptive tablets may cover up pregnancy symptoms after conception, according to Dr. Fru, “if they happen to be on oral contraceptives but missed a pill, for example.” This is because, according to the author, some negative effects of contraceptive pills (such as nausea) can actually be identical to those of pregnancy. Dr. Fru continues, “Additionally, the cervix is irritable in some pregnant people so that they may experience episodes of cervical bleeding, especially after penetrative sex.” Although it differs from the uterine bleeding that birth control pills cause, both types of bleeding seem as vaginal.
Recent mothers may also be more prone to experience a cryptic pregnancy. According to Dr. Fru, postpartum women are also at danger if they engage in unprotected sexual activity because they can start ovulating again a few weeks after giving birth. In this situation, being postpartum may typically result in the ignoring of any new pregnancy symptoms until several months later.
Along with those that have to do with mental health, there are other demographic considerations to take into account. Dr. Fru notes that “at least one study has identified that younger, poorer women may be especially at risk of ignoring pregnancy signs if they are under considerable mental stress.” “Life’s stresses may make it difficult for a woman to realize that she is pregnant.” This is the reason why mysterious pregnancies were previously referred to as “ denied pregnancies ,” however it’s clear that this word doesn’t accurately describe the situation.
ARE COMPLICATIONS POSSIBLE WITH A CRYPTIC PREGNANCY? It is common for people who are having cryptic pregnancies to wait until they find out they are pregnant before seeking medical attention, which can lead to certain health issues for both the mother and the unborn child being disregarded. And occasionally, even when they go see a doctor, Dr. Wesley explains, their symptoms could be dismissed as something different. She said that sometimes a woman may experience multiple “health” issues without the pregnancy being recognized.
According to Dr. Fru, the primary issue with cryptic pregnancies is a lack of antenatal care. This frequently results in underweight babies, which is not ideal.
Then there is the issue of living a lifestyle that is known to support a healthy pregnancy. In addition, Dr. Fru continues, “these babies may be exposed to alcohol, drugs, and cigarette smoke, which the pregnant person may have avoided had the pregnancy been detected, because lifestyle alteration often occurs with the diagnosis of pregnancy.
When a pregnancy is discovered, medical professionals typically take a variety of precautions to minimize difficulties by including the required prenatal care. Patients “also” undergo mental health screenings to ensure they receive any necessary assistance, according to Dr. Fru. Social work assistants are essential because they can offer resources for an unexpected delivery and help the parent-child dyad succeed.
Despite being uncommon, cryptic pregnancies are frequently recorded. It’s unfortunate that some people may be more susceptible to having one due to a variety of physiological, psychological, and social variables. But should the need occur, becoming more knowledgeable about cryptic pregnancies can make it easier for you to spot the problem.