False (Phantom) Pregnancy: Causes, Symptoms, and Treatments
A woman may become pregnant while she is not ovulating or after her period has ended. A woman may have multiple miscarriages due to a variety of reasons including chromosomal abnormalities.
Some women experience some of these symptoms but others do not. Sometimes it is difficult to tell if a pregnancy was real or fake from the symptoms alone. If you suspect your partner might be having a miscarriage, then you need to get tested. You will want to take precautions when trying to conceive such as using birth control, avoiding certain foods and drinks, etc. There are many tests available that can help determine whether or not your partner’s test results were positive for a fetal abnormality. These tests include blood work, ultrasound scans and other diagnostic procedures. If you are worried about your partner’s test result, then you may wish to seek out a professional to perform an evaluation. Your doctor can help guide you through this process.
The following list provides a brief description of each symptom associated with false pregnancy:
1. Weight Gain : When a woman becomes pregnant, her body begins producing hormones which cause her to gain weight .
Women who have had miscarriages often report feeling bloated and full even though they did not actually lose any weight during their pregnancies. Women who experience this also report having an increase in hunger and cravings for specific foods such as meat, fish, eggs, and chili.
2. Fatigue : When a woman becomes pregnant, her body has to work harder than usual to maintain itself.
This also occurs when a woman experiences a miscarriage. As a result of these changes in the body some women experience flu-like symptoms such as extreme exhaustion, headaches, body aches, and nausea.
3. Numbness : Some women experience a temporary loss of feeling in their abdomens during a miscarriage.
This is caused by the trauma of the loss and is sometimes referred to as a “phantom pregnancy” since the woman was pregnant at one time. The numbness can also cause changes in sensations such as a tingling, burning, or itching sensation.
4. Discharge : When an embryo or fetus dies inside the womb it begins to decompose and break down.
This process releases fluids which can escape through the woman’s vaginal walls. This fluid is usually dark brown or black in color and has a strong unpleasant odor.
5. Cramping : During the middle to late stages of pregnancy, some women experience light menstrual-like cramps .
This is the body’s way of preparing the uterus for labor. When an embryo or fetus dies in the womb, it too begins to break down and this process can cause cramping.
6. Bleeding : As a woman continues further into her pregnancy, the placenta and umbilical cord continue to provide nourishment to the growing baby.
When a miscarriage occurs, these two essential parts are removed which can cause heavy vaginal bleeding.
7. Changes in Feeling : Some women experience an increased level of feeling during their pregnancies.
This means they have an increased sensitivity to touch, tastes, and smells. These heightened senses are caused by surging hormones which prepare the woman’s body for childcare.
When a miscarriage occurs, these hormones begin to retreat which can cause the exact opposite effect. Some women experience a loss of feeling and a decreased sensitivity to touch, taste, and smell.
This list is not all-inclusive. There are many other signs and symptoms which may occur.
If any of the information provided here seems unfamiliar to you, please consult your doctor or healthcare provider for further information and guidance.
Sources & references used in this article:
Falsely elevated human chorionic gonadotropin leading to unnecessary therapy by TG Olsen, PR Hubert, LR Nycum – Obstetrics & Gynecology, 2001 – Elsevier
False diagnosis and needless therapy of presumed malignant disease in women with false-positive human chorionic gonadotropin concentrations by S Rotmensch, LA Cole – The Lancet, 2000 – Elsevier
All Swell That End Swell: Dropsy, Phantom Pregnancy, and the Sound of Deconception in” All’s Well That Ends Well” by JG Harris – Renaissance Drama, 2006 – journals.uchicago.edu
False-positive hCG assay results leading to unnecessary surgery and chemotherapy and needless occurrences of diabetes and coma by LA Cole, KM Rinne, S Shahabi, A Omrani – Clinical chemistry, 1999 – academic.oup.com
Phantom hCG and phantom choriocarcinoma by LA Cole – Gynecologic oncology, 1998 – Elsevier
False-positive serum human chorionic gonadotropin results: causes, characteristics, and recognition by GD Braunstein – American journal of obstetrics and gynecology, 2002 – Elsevier
Gestational trophoblastic disease I: epidemiology, pathology, clinical presentation and diagnosis of gestational trophoblastic disease, and management of … by JR Lurain – American journal of obstetrics and gynecology, 2010 – Elsevier