How Common Is It To Not Know You’re Pregnant? Experts Explain

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Pregnancy usually comes with a slew of pregnancy symptoms, including but certainly not limited to morning sickness, fatigue, sudden food aversions, and a missing period. Then again, there are numerous reasons to feel nauseous in the morning, everyone is tired these days, people’s food preferences change, and you light bleeding/spotting is common in early pregnancy. So, how common is it to not know you’re pregnant? Turns out, pretty common.

With something called a “cryptic pregnancy” — a pregnancy where there is no detectable hCG in the mother’s system, due to a hormonal imbalance in the mother,” according to Cryptic Pregnancy Support Group — walking around unknowingly pregnant isn’t unbelievable or irresponsible. In fact, a 2011 HuffPost article about cryptic pregnancy reports that one in 450 women don’t know they’re pregnant until 20 weeks gestation, or after. The same article reports that one in 2,500 women remained in the dark until they went into labor and delivery. This strange phenomenon, according to Cosmopolitan, happens most commonly to women with polycystic ovarian syndrome (PCOS), perimenopause, lower levels of pregnancy hormones produced by a genetic quirk, or suffering from a large amount of stress.

Yes, a woman going the duration of her pregnancy without experiencing an ounce of symptoms seems like fiction, but as the above information shows, it happens a lot more than you’d think.

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Amy Autry, MD, a clinical professor of obstetrics-gynecology and reproductive sciences at…

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