Cryptic Pregnancy: What is it? Is it possible to have it?

I think almost all of us have heard of MTV’s, “I didn’t know I was pregnant.” This is exactly what a cryptic pregnancy is. It is when you are pregnant, and your body doesn’t tell you! You don’t get the symptoms associated with it, and a lot of times you even get negative pregnancy and blood tests!

However is this show just full of it? Or is cryptic pregnancy actually a thing?

Cryptic Pregnancy Is Real

The studies are in, and cryptic pregnancies are indeed real! How real? Well, the chances aren’t huge of course. That is why it isn’t more common. In fact, PubMed, quoted in an article from Healthline says that it is about 1 in 475 pregnancies that this happens.

What Causes Cryptic Pregnancy

A cryptic pregnancy is a pregnancy that is generally missed by modern tests, like blood and urine tests. Especially if you do not have regular periods or symptoms, it’s easier to fail to detect pregnancy. How?

If you have missed or irregular periods often, another irregular period won’t be as big of a deal. Many times you don’t seem to miss a period either, so you don’t think about it. Many times in a cryptic pregnancy, other common side effects of pregnancy, like morning sickness aren’t there or mistaken for something else.

How Can Modern Medicine Fail To Diagnose a Pregnancy?

While this doesn’t happen often, it happens. At times, a pregnancy test or blood test may not detect pregnancy because the HCG in your urine and blood may not be where it would be in a normal pregnancy. This may be because of giving birth recently, PCOS, or having abnormal periods.

The reason for this is because your HCG usually accumulates by doubling every 48 hours, usually beginning 8 or 9 days after ovulation. If your periods are all over the place, or you have a condition like PCOS, HCG may not accumulate like it normally should. HCG is what pregnancy and blood tests measure for. It needs a higher level to appear as pregnant. Therefore if it isn’t rising normally, it may not detect pregnancy since it needs to be over a certain threshold to come as positive.

Related: Early Pregnancy Symptoms: What You Need To Know

Is Cryptic Pregnancy Dangerous?

It can be. Why? Because if you do not know that you are pregnant, you may not be taking care of your body the way that you should, and not seeking proper prenatal care. For example, once you find out you are pregnant, the first steps are to cut out alcohol, smoking, drug use, and use of certain medicines. You even cut out a lot of food and caffeine from your diet. If you don’t realize that you are pregnant, these things that are dangerous to a fetus may be allowed to continue.

If carried to full term, you also may not be expecting labor. Therefore, you may end up delivering the baby at home, or somewhere that isn’t the hospital.

Can You Prevent Cryptic Pregnancy?

Taking control of your health is important for the prevention of cryptic pregnancy. If you have symptoms of PCOS if you frequently have missed or irregular periods, if you have uncontrollable cramps during your period, or if something ever feels off, talk to your OB and have it followed up on.

In addition, if you fall into the criteria mentioned in this article, it is good to keep tabs on your body and symptoms and to keep up with having regular checkups.

If you are worried about cryptic pregnancy, it never hurts to take routine pregnancy tests as well.

Cryptic pregnancy is something that can be scary, but it isn’t considered common. However, it is good to know the risks and possibilities.

Have you heard and stories about cryptic pregnancies? Comment below!

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