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    Cryptic Pregnancy: Pregnant But Unaware

    Missed Period

    Cryptic Pregnancy: Pregnant But Unaware

    Updated on 3 November 2023

    While most women have a variety of symptoms and indicators during their pregnancy, in rare circumstances, women have no symptoms at all. If you are one of these women and experience an unintended pregnancy, you may be experiencing a cryptic pregnancy.

    What is cryptic pregnancy?

    Cryptic pregnancy meaning usually refers to someone who is pregnant but has no idea about it, It is also called a "stealth pregnancy" and only when labor starts does a woman realize that she's pregnant.

    Most women learn of their pregnancies between the fourth and twelfth week. This may be the case if they have shown signs of pregnancy or if they missed their period. Nothing may make a person suspect they are pregnant while they are experiencing a cryptic pregnancy. It's possible that their pregnancy test was inaccurate, they had an unplanned pregnancy, that they don't have any pregnancy symptoms, or that they mistook pregnancy for a virus.

    How is it possible to be pregnant and unaware?

    Many women who have had kids find it hard to believe that another woman could be pregnant and not know it. Most of the time, the many not-so-nice symptoms, the lack of periods, unplanned pregnancy, and weight gain are clear signs that your body is creating a new life.

    If you need further convincing, consider the following cases in which a pregnant woman can be unaware of her condition:

    • If you take birth control or use contraception correctly and regularly, you might not think you might be pregnant.
    • A missed period is one of the first and most important signs of pregnancy for many women.
    • About two weeks after conception, when your baby attaches itself to the side of your uterus, you may have implantation bleeding. Some women, especially those who don't bleed a lot, might think that this bleeding is their period.
    • You may have had an unplanned pregnancy and may have taken a pregnancy test too soon.
    • If you don't have any of the common signs of pregnancy, like morning sickness, nausea, or sore breasts, you might not know you're pregnant.
    • You don't put on any extra pounds or develop a visible baby bump
    • If your baby isn’t very active, you might not feel much fetal movement
    • Women who have had trouble getting pregnant in the past or who have health problems that make it hard to get pregnant might not think they are pregnant.
    • Stress, fear, and shame can make it hard for a woman to accept or admit that she is pregnant.

    What are the cryptic pregnancy symptoms?

    People who have a cryptic pregnancy have the same signs as people who are pregnant in a normal way or who had an unplanned pregnancy. The main difference is that the pregnant person doesn't know that her symptoms are caused by her pregnancy. For instance, they might think they're feeling sick because they ate a certain food or that they're tired because they need more sleep. Other symptoms of a cryptic pregnancy include:

    • Irregular periods
    • Breast pain, swelling, or tenderness
    • Experiencing light bleeding or spotting
    • Nausea and/or vomiting
    • Tiredness
    • Swelling
    • Cramping
    • Constipation
    • Increased frequency of urination
    • Congestion
    • Sudden changes in appetite or cravings

    How frequently do cryptic pregnancies occur?

    Pregnancy affects every woman in her unique way. While some women may begin to wonder if they are pregnant shortly after conception, others may not give it any thought until they have gone months without a period.

    Instances of cryptic pregnancy are extremely unusual. Studies reveal that only about 1 in 475 women will become pregnant without realising it until they are more than 20 weeks along. 1 in 2500 women doesn't discover they're expecting until they're delivering.

    What are the consequences of a cryptic pregnancy?

    Women and their newborns benefit greatly from prenatal care and frequent checks.

    If a pregnant woman doesn't know she's pregnant, she can't get the care she and her unborn child need. Because of this, there is a higher chance that both the pregnant woman and the baby will get sick.

    A higher percentage of cryptic pregnancy mothers give birth at home or elsewhere without professional assistance. Having a baby when you least expect it can be a painful event that can lead to mental health problems.

    Kids from cryptic pregnancies have an increased risk of being born prematurely, underweight, or tiny for their gestational age, similar to the situation faced by many babies whose mothers lacked access to prenatal care. There is a higher risk of stillbirth, infant mortality, and neglect for babies born into cryptic pregnancies.


    The main problem with cryptic pregnancy is that the symptoms are very common in women, so a doctor might not know she is pregnant until an ultrasound shows an enlarged uterus and foetal pole. The only thing that can be done to stop cryptic pregnancies is for women to use birth control more carefully. Until then, it will be hard to tell if a woman with a cryptic pregnancy is pregnant or not.

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    Written by

    Sanju Rathi

    A Postgraduate in English Literature and a professional diploma holder in Interior Design and Display, Sanju started her career as English TGT. Always interested in writing, shetook to freelance writing to pursue her passion side by side. As a content specialist, She is actively producing and providing content in every possible niche.

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