Unbelievable as it seems, it is possible for a woman to carry a baby in her womb without realizing it – for as long as 20 weeks or sometimes, until she actually goes into labor! If you think this is just a scary story, it's time to debunk that myth!
A cryptic pregnancy is when the foetus is “hidden” in its natural environment. True to the Latin origin of the term, this means your baby will be hidden before being born. How is that even possible? Won't you miss your period? Won't a pregnancy test reveal the truth? No! In such a pregnancy, there is little or no detectable hCG which means a pregnancy test will be negative, your periods will be regular and your uterine lining will be shed every month – just as always. If this could get even more unreal, even a transvaginal and transabdominal ultrasound will be negative!
Does that mean there is absolutely no way to detect such a pregnancy before it's too late? Thankfully, there are a few signs that could point you in the right direction.
Do You Have These Unique Signs Of Cryptic Pregnancy?
Pregnancy-like symptoms AFTER your period is over
This is the strongest sign of a cryptic pregnancy, especially in the first few months. You may experience some of the typical pregnancy symptoms like nausea, fatigue and food aversion from time to time, but these symptoms will subside during your period.
A slightly shorter period
If your periods are regular, they may reduce in length to 1-2 days.
Strangely coloured period blood
The colour of your period blood may vary drastically – it could be a bright red, pink, orange, brown, pinkish brown, dark red or – take a deep breath – purple, blue and black!
An occasionally irregular period
Your menstrual cycle may become a bit irregular, with months where you don't have your period at all.
A hard, slowly growing stomach
Your stomach may become harder and bigger – but the shape will be unlike the typical pregnant belly. This is because the baby is nestled more towards the back and spine.
Weird skin blemishes and spots
You may develop odd skin blemishes, dimples or spots, especially under the breast. They will appear in a symmetrical formation.
What Causes a Cryptic Pregnancy?
So, could you be at risk for this strange condition? As per medical experts, women going through hormonal imbalance are at high risk for cryptic pregnancies. See if any of the following apply to you to understand your risks:
- Do you have a history of Poly Cystic Ovarian Syndrome (PCOS)?
- Are you in the peri-menopausal stage?
- Did you have a recent pregnancy?
- Are you lactating?
- Do you have a very low body fat percentage?
- Are you using birth control?
If you have said yes to any of the above, your probability of developing a cryptic pregnancy is slightly higher than the average woman.
Bizarre, isn't it? What seems so fictitious is actually a possibility in real life! Not knowing you are pregnant could put you at risk for a number of serious complications such as birth defects, blood type incompatibility, hypertension and even preeclampsia.
What's even more worrying is that such pregnancies can easily continue for 22 months till even 4 or 5 years! This is because the development of your baby will be slow and he will require much more time to be ready for the world. To be safe, it is always better to book an appointment with your doctor if something doesn't feel quite right.
Do you know anyone who has been through this experience? Share with us in the comments.