Pelvis | Gynecology | False pregnancy (Disease)
False pregnancy or hysterical pregnancy, most commonly termed pseudocyesis in humans and pseudopregnancy in other mammals, is the appearance of clinical and/or subclinical signs and symptoms associated with pregnancy when the organism is not actually pregnant. False pregnancy in humans is less common, and may sometimes be purely psychological.
In rare cases, even men can have a false pregnancy. Some men experience a related phenomenon known as couvade, or sympathetic pregnancy. They will develop many of the same symptoms as their pregnant partners -- including weight gain, nausea, and backache.
When a woman feels an intense desire to get pregnant, which may be because of infertility, repeat miscarriages, impending menopause, or a desire to get married, her body may produce some of the signs of pregnancy (such as a swollen belly, enlarged breasts, and even the sensation of fetal movement).
The womans brain then misinterprets those signs as pregnancy, and triggers the release of hormones (such as estrogen and prolactin) that lead to actual pregnancy symptoms.
Causes and Risk factors
It is generally estimated that false pregnancy is caused due to changes in the endocrine system of the body, leading to the secretion of hormones which translate into physical changes similar to those during pregnancy.
A person who thinks they are pregnant when they are not. Despite not being pregnant the patient may experience many of the symptoms of pregnancy. This disorder is very rare and the cause is not known.
There are various explanations, none of which is universally accepted because of the complex involvement of cortical, hypothalamic, endocrine, and psychogenic factors. Proposed mechanisms include the effect of stress on the hypothalamo-pituitary-adrenal axis, constipation, weight gain, and the movement of intestinal gas.
Diagnosis and Treatment
HCG (Human chorionic gonadotropin)is a test that should be done in order to rule out pregnancy. Treatment includes observation or psychiatric evaluation and treatment...