Pseudocyesis is the clinical term for having a phantom pregnancy. This can stem from infertility and the strong desire to have a child, after many miscarriages, just before menopause begins, or even just as a sympathetic pregnancy (ex. husband experiences symptoms as wife is actually pregnant).
There doesn't seem to be any clinically proven regularities as to why it occurs or what the triggers are mentally and physically. It is estimated to affect 1 in every 22,000 women (about 4 times as rare as MRKH!) and does NOT mean you have a health disorder. It is not lying about being pregnant in order to gain something (i.e financial compensation in a failing relationship) but rather you actually do believe you are pregnant because you are showing all signs of a real pregnancy, up to and including "fetal movements". The only things missing are positive pregnancy tests and a heartbeat on an ultrasound! They can last anywhere from a few weeks to an entire pregnancy term, ending in strong contractions.
- Late or missed period
- Back aches
- Morning sickness/nausea
- Fetal "movement"
I have personally experienced many false pregnancies since my diagnosis with MRKH. I am not begging for attention. Several days after my estimated "time of the month" and even up to one or two weeks, I start having nausea and vomiting in the mornings. I lose sleep and get very bloated in my abdomen. My back pain (especially in my lower back) gets stronger and I am retaining more fluids. I have gone to the doctors not once, not twice, but 7 or 8 times over the last few years to confirm that I am not pregnant! I have MRKH, so I don't have a period to miss, but I know how to recognize all the other symptoms of pregnancy. That's mostly because I over-analyze web articles about pregnancy and symptoms, but that's beside the point! I am taking Estrace 1 MG and Medroxy-Progesterone 2.5 MG daily, for those that are wondering what hormones I am currently taking for hormones. Nothing fancier than that!
After any of these false pregnancies, whether I go to the doctor or use an at-home pregnancy test to confirm that I'm not actually pregnant, I end up very depressed. I know in my head that I can't get pregnant, but my heart still has high hopes. I end up hating all women after my negatives, pregnant or not. I dread going out and going to work or even logging into my Twitter account. Lately, I even hate socializing with our friends because now 3 of them are pregnant and happy together, and I am happy for them, but I hate them for the fact that each one was by accident and they are all so happy and in love.
So, fellow MRKH sisters and infertile ladies in general. Have you ever experienced a false pregnancy? How long did your's last? Please let me know in the comments, I want to be sure I am not the only weirdo out there that this has happened to!