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How long can a woman be pregnant without knowing it

Could you be pregnant? The proof is in the pregnancy test. But even before you miss a period, you might suspect — or hope — that you're pregnant. Know the first signs of pregnancy and why they occur. Other less obvious signs and symptoms of pregnancy that you might experience during the first trimester include:.

SEE VIDEO BY TOPIC: I Didn't Know I Was Pregnant Until I Gave Birth - This Morning

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SEE VIDEO BY TOPIC: Signs You Might Be Pregnant Without Knowing It

How Can a Woman Have a Baby Without Knowing She’s Pregnant?

Barely a week goes by without a story of a young woman giving birth on the loo - having had no idea she was pregnant. Yet, the vast majority of us will immediately think 'How did she not know? But 'cryptic pregnancies' are more common that we might think, especially with the stress and busyness of every lives. And the Professor of midwifery research at the University of Stirling says we should not be so quick to judge. It is a 'notorious fact', one so commonly accepted and obvious it requires no evidence to support it in a court of law, that every woman knows when she is pregnant.

In a society that has a low tolerance for uncertainty, cases that challenge our collective notion of the possible fascinate and confuse us. Headlines such as 'Baby birth shock for soldier on Afghanistan deployment', or 'I had this extremely painful urge to push and that's when the head came out' are received with a mix of incredulity and scepticism.

Yet cases of 'cryptic pregnancy' — also known as 'pregnancy denial' — are not particularly rare. Scroll down for video. Cryptic pregnancies - where women did not know they were expecting - are estimated to occur in one in every 2, cases.

It makes the headlines but uncertainty over pregnancy was once even more common. In fact, they are estimated to occur in around one in 2, cases, suggesting around cases in the UK annually, or a potential headline story almost every day. In these cases, women lack all awareness of pregnancy and report experiencing few, if any, of the common symptoms. But uncertainty over the diagnosis of pregnancy is not unusual. While a woman who thinks that she may be pregnant can now carry out a shop-bought pregnancy test with a high degree of accuracy, historically and — even in the relatively recent past — it was not easy to confirm that a woman was pregnant.

Signs and symptoms were described as 'probable' and 'presumptive' rather than diagnostic. Not all pregnant women have typical symptoms such as morning sickness, says Professor Cheyne. But if awareness of pregnancy can now be regarded as a notorious fact, what are the symptoms that any woman would recognise? And how could they still be overlooked, dismissed or ascribed to another cause? Absence of menstrual periods is the most common early symptom of pregnancy.

However, there are many reasons why a woman may not menstruate regularly, including some medical disorders and factors such as poor diet or stress. Women approaching the menopause are likely to have disrupted menstruation and some women stop having periods altogether when taking the contraceptive pill. Conversely, 'menstrual—like' bleeding during pregnancy any pregnant woman who experiences any vaginal bleeding should seek medical attention is reported, although not explained, in around 1 per cent of women.

Morning sickness, the most common pregnancy symptom portrayed in the media and drama, is experienced by around 70 per cent of pregnant women but varies widely in severity and duration and may again be attributed to numerous other causes. Weight gain is another usual symptom.

The 'average' pregnant women would be expected to gain around But many women anticipate gaining weight and an increased waist circumference around the menopause — and, at any age, weight gain is easily explained: for example, as the result of comfort eating in times of stress. The relationship between maternal and foetal nutrition is complex.

Women who have a restricted diet intentionally or unintentionally throughout pregnancy may gain very little weight, while the baby's birth weight may still be within the normal range. A woman's weight gain can be put down to other factors such as comfort eating when stressed or having a restricted diet during pregnancy can mean there is little weight gain at all. Although there may be longer-term health consequences for babies of mothers whose diet is very poor during pregnancy.

Either way, it is another symptom that easily can be overlooked. Most women start to feel foetal movement between 18 and 20 weeks of pregnancy. Early movements are often described as a flutter, and in the early weeks are easily confused with abdominal gas.

However, foetal movements do increase in strength as the baby grows and women are advised that they should feel movements right up until and beyond the start of labour. For those pregnant women who have had a cup kicked from their belly by the baby within, it is difficult to understand how this can be mistaken, but cases of cryptic pregnancy in which women have reported feeling no foetal movements indicate the contrary. Various physiological or psychological theories have been suggested to explain cryptic pregnancy.

While it may occur more commonly in women who have a co-existing mental health condition, many cases occur in women who have no evidence of underlying mental health problems and its cause remains unknown. Headline cases generally depict happy outcomes, but while pregnancy is a normal physiological life event, a woman who doesn't recognise that she is pregnant and her baby are at considerable risk both physiologically and psychologically.

Knowing you are expecting can be help people prepare for motherhood. For all women, pregnancy is a time of change and preparation for motherhood.

While the reality of motherhood may still surprise any woman, those who are unaware of their pregnancy are likely to be profoundly shocked by their unexpected motherhood. This can be extremely difficult to overcome. In addition, these women will not access antenatal care, complications will not be detected and women may continue to smoke or drink alcohol unaware of the potential for harm.

A characteristic of cases of women completely unaware of their pregnancy appears to be that they seek medical help for severe abdominal pains.

Many, however, give birth alone or without skilled assistance and this places both mother and baby at considerable and life-threatening risk. There is a darker side to the way in which cryptic birth is interpreted and understood, too. Many mothers who don't know they are pregnant give birth without support, says Professor Cheyne.

Studies of historical case reports have described the legal consequences for women who gave birth alone and where the baby was stillborn or died shortly after birth. Women's claims of cryptic pregnancy were often treated as lies — although the condition was recognised in the medical literature of the time — and women could be charged with infanticide. Mona Rautelin in her account of such cases in pre-modern Finland also cites modern cases from Europe and China where the 'notorious fact' that women will have knowledge of their pregnancy has resulted in charges of infanticide.

In a recent headline case from America, a woman who claimed that she had a stillbirth after a concealed pregnancy was jailed for infanticide. The physiology and psychology of concealed and cryptic pregnancy are different and both are complex.

However, they may be difficult to distinguish in these rare and tragic cases. There are many uncertainties surrounding childbirth and even today many, superficially straightforward, aspects of pregnancy and birth remain poorly understood. While we may continue to read these news reports with some disbelief, we must ensure that we respect and protect the women behind these tales of the unexpected.

The views expressed in the contents above are those of our users and do not necessarily reflect the views of MailOnline. Argos AO. How DO some women claim they didn't know they were pregnant until they gave birth? Midwifery expert reveals all Share this article Share. Read more: The Conversation: In-depth analysis, research, news and ideas from leading academics and researchers.

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Reasons for a Hidden and Denied Pregnancy

Soon after, her baby dropped into the toilet. How is this even possible? Board-certified ob-gyn Pari Ghodsi , M.

For those who have been pregnant before, this seems impossible. After all, how can you miss all of the signs and symptoms of pregnancy? Most women are very anxious to take a pregnancy test the minute their period is late.

Here are some astonishing statistics: Among pregnant women, 1 in doesn't know her status until week 20 or later more than halfway through the pregnancy , and 1 in 2, is oblivious until she actually goes into labor. I know what you're thinking because I've thought it too: it's denial. On some level, these women must know they're pregnant but can't deal with the reality. Yet when I explored the origins of cryptic pregnancy -- the clinical name for this condition -- I realized that denial or mental illness doesn't fully explain the phenomenon. Only a minority of cryptic pregnancy cases has been attributed to personality disturbances eight percent or schizophrenia five percent.

5 Reasons People Can Be Pregnant For Months & Not Know It

If you are a young woman of normal weight you can be pregnant and not know it until just before you give birth, experts say, but it's more likely to happen if you are overweight. Twenty-two year old Kate Hudson, of Melbourne, reportedly gave birth about two weeks after she first discovered she was pregnant while on a holiday with friends in Europe. Kate, her partner Aaron, and their son Mason. Credit: Facebook. According to blog The Young Mummy which first reported the story, Hudson was close to 38 weeks pregnant and didn't have a clue. I was still getting regular periods. I wasn't nauseous, no morning sickness, little weight gain, so it seemed silly to think I would be pregnant. Kate Hudson, pictured here in her third trimester, discovered she was pregnant about two weeks before she gave birth.

Can You Be Pregnant and Not Know It?

Barely a week goes by without a story of a young woman giving birth on the loo - having had no idea she was pregnant. Yet, the vast majority of us will immediately think 'How did she not know? But 'cryptic pregnancies' are more common that we might think, especially with the stress and busyness of every lives. And the Professor of midwifery research at the University of Stirling says we should not be so quick to judge. It is a 'notorious fact', one so commonly accepted and obvious it requires no evidence to support it in a court of law, that every woman knows when she is pregnant.

In a society that has a low tolerance for uncertainty, cases that challenge our collective notion of the possible fascinate and confuse us.

Recent legislation has sought to ban abortions as soon as a fetal heartbeat is detectable. For most women, that's as early as five or six weeks into pregnancy—and only one or two weeks after a missed period. That means many of these women might not even realize they're pregnant before it's already too late for them to get an abortion. Learn more about what it means to be six weeks pregnant here.

How Can You Be Pregnant (For Months) And Not Know It?

Morning sickness, heartburn , food cravings, and breast tenderness are iconic pregnancy symptoms , but they're not the only ones. Pregnancy symptoms vary in presence, duration, and severity from one person to the next. Symptoms can even be different from one pregnancy to the next in the same person.

As much as I hate being on my period, I do love getting that monthly confirmation that I'm not pregnant. The thought of experiencing an unplanned pregnancy right now scares the heck out of me. But guess what? While uncommon, " cryptic pregnancies ," or pregnancies that conventional medical methods fail to detect, are a real thing; and they're not the only reason people can be pregnant and not know it. For example, people can spot during pregnancy and mistake it for their period, and it's totally possible for them to be months into their pregnancy before they start showing.

How women can go 9 months without knowing they’re pregnant

She had been taking the pill with no break for more than six months, but had stopped about two weeks before. Dollan had given birth by herself in the bathroom of her flat, after being sent home sick from work; a neighbour had heard her screams of labour and called an ambulance. How could she not have known she was pregnant? But the more pertinent question may be: why would she have thought she was? She had gained a little weight, but chalked that up to the breakup. A mirror selfie she took betrays no trace of her being seven and a half months pregnant.

Mar 26, - Turns out the phenomenon, known as cryptic pregnancy, isn't so A Doctor Explains How a Woman Can Go Nine Months Without Knowing She's Pregnant It happened again last week: a year-old in the U.K. thought she.

As if an unplanned pregnancy isn't scary enough. Unplanned pregnancy is not at the top of my agenda at the moment, and it honestly scares me to death. What frightens me even more, though, is being pregnant for nine months and not knowing it until I go into labor.

Yes, You Can Go Into Labor Without Knowing You Were Pregnant

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Reasons for a Hidden and Denied Pregnancy

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How women can go 9 months without knowing they’re pregnant

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Comments: 2
  1. Zulkilabar

    You have missed the most important.

  2. Ararisar

    Brilliant phrase

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