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How to detect a nervous pregnancy?

Absence of menstruation, nausea, sore breasts… Some women may show all the symptoms of pregnancy, despite a negative pregnancy test. This phenomenon is called “nervous pregnancy”. It is a psychological disorder that is characterized by a woman’s certainty of being pregnant, when this is not the case. What is a nervous pregnancy? How to detect it quickly? Answer in this article.

Definition: what is a nervous pregnancy?

Nervous pregnancy, also known as pseudocyesis or “phantom pregnancy”, is a psychological disorder which occurs in some women. The phenomenon mainly concerns young women and older women, who are afraid, or on the contrary, want to get pregnant.

A woman who suffers from a nervous pregnancy is convinced that she is pregnant, when this is not the case: it is actually an “imaginary pregnancy”, therefore, without embryo. Although no fertilization has taken place, she still presents symptoms suggesting a pregnancy.

negative pregnancy test due to phantom pregnancy

Symptoms of a nervous pregnancy

Contrary to the denial of pregnancy, where the woman is not conscious of her state, and this, sometimes until term, a woman who lives a nervous pregnancy is convinced to be pregnantand this, even if she is given proof to the contrary: She then develops many symptoms associated, in normal times, with pregnancy:

  • Lack of rules;
  • Severe tiredness;
  • Increase, or conversely, loss of appetite;
  • Heavy and swollen legs;
  • Rise in hormone levels;
  • Stomach aches;
  • Weight gain, especially in the stomach;
  • Painful breasts: sometimes they release colostrum.

Despite all the symptoms that suggest that the woman is indeed expecting a child, the pregnancy test remains negative. But then, how to explain that such symptoms appear?

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The menstrual cycle is regulated by hormones which, in principle, are produced under the influence ofhypothalamus. For information, the hypothalamus is a gland that governs ovulation. In the event of significant stress, the hormones essential to the smooth running of the cycle are no longer secreted, thus leading to a disturbance even a lack of rules. But that’s not all: such hormonal imbalances can also cause nausea and stomach aches, the main symptoms of pregnancy.

Good to know : in some extreme cases, it happens that the woman is subject to pregnancy complications, such as pre-eclampsia. She may even experience contractions and the onset of labor.

The causes of a nervous pregnancy

In most cases, the cause of nervous pregnancy is psychosomatic. The woman wants so much to have a child that her brain operates changes in her body. Conversely, it may be a woman who has an excessive fear of becoming pregnant.

A traumatic episodesuch as a miscarriage, a large ectopic, or a voluntary termination of pregnancy (IVG), can sometimes be the cause of a nervous pregnancy.

Note that some physical disorders Where psychological may promote the onset of pregnancy symptoms. In the event of severe depression or an ovarian tumour, the woman’s hormone levels can indeed be upset, thus causing a disturbance or even a stoppage of the menstrual cycle.

How to detect a nervous pregnancy?

Diagnosing a nervous pregnancy is quick and easy. And for good reason, just take a pregnancy test. If the pregnancy is very nervous, the test will be negative: quite simply!

However, it sometimes happens that the test is positive, even though there is no embryo in the uterus. The strong influence of the mind on hypothalamic hormones can, indeed, skew the results. In case of doubt, it is therefore preferable to make an appointment with a gynecologist to do an ultrasound, which will confirm or rule out the nervous pregnancy.

woman who managed to detect a nervous pregnancy

The management of a nervous pregnancy

Nervous pregnancy is a mental disorder. There is therefore no specific treatment to cure it.

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As a psychic disorder, nervous pregnancy requires the professional support. The fact of being helped and accompanied can, in fact, allow the woman to exteriorize her emotions, her feelings and to become aware of her body. A psychological follow-up can also be useful to pinpoint the cause of the nervous pregnancy.

It is therefore recommended to call on multidisciplinary professionals, such as psychiatristsof the doctors and gynecologiststo better understand the disorder and its origin.

Take care of yourself and your health;