You Can Be Pregnant For Months And Not Know

It is understandable that a woman could be pregnant for a couple of months and not know it. She may be too insensitive to her body, she may be too young, she could be in denial of the fact that she’s pregnant.


But, it’s quite difficult to understand how a woman would carry a baby in her womb for 9 solid months and not have a clue about it. I mean, how can you be pregnant for even 7 months and not know it?



  • How common is it to be unaware of pregnancy?
  • Psychological reasons why women may not be aware of their pregnancy.
  • Possible Physical/Biological reasons why a woman can be pregnant and not know it.
  • Consequences of being pregnant and not knowing it.
  • Can a blood test detect a cryptic pregnancy?


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It is well known fact that some women have been pregnant for 9 months just to realize it during labor. This phenomenon is referred to as cryptic pregnancy. Cryptic pregnancies are situations were women are unaware of that they are pregnant until the last weeks of gestation or in some cases until they give birth.


How common is it to be unaware of pregnancy?

Of course cryptic pregnancies are very rare. In actual fact, one in 500 women are 20 weeks (about 5 months) pregnancy before they know they are pregnant. More interestingly, one in 2,500 women only get to realize they are pregnant during labor.


There are however no scientific records of doctors being unaware of the pregnancy of a pregnant woman under their watch. What records have are cryptic pregnancy cases where the pregnant woman never submitted her self to a doctors watch.


Psychological reasons why women may not be aware of their pregnancy.

Some women aren’t just aware of what’s going on in their bodies. Just as people feel pain differently, people’s awareness of their bodies are also different.


Some people who doubt this possibility of cryptic pregnancy, argue that only a mental illness can justify a woman not knowing that she is pregnant. Women who are pregnant for months and not know it may sometimes be in deep denial of their pregnancy. This level of denial could actually be a sign of mental illness.


There are cases of teenage girls and young women who are in denial about their pregnancy. They don’t want to admit to themselves or their parents that they are carrying a baby.


Yet, in 2012, the BBC news carried a story of a British servicewoman who gave birth to a baby boy in Afghanistan who only discovered she was pregnant at the point of delivery. In that classic case of cryptic pregnancy, she was not known to have mental health problems.


Notwithstanding the fact about the existence of cryptic pregnancy, it is quite phenomenal to be pregnant for months and not know it. This is because, usually, at around 20 weeks of pregnancy, you start to feel the baby moving. The baby’s presence in your womb will affect your life both while active and while resting.

Before 20 weeks, some tell tale signs of pregnancy are:

  • A missed period
  • Tender, swollen breasts
  • Peeing more than normal
  • being very tired
  • Nausea, at times, vomiting
  • Can’t stand certain foods or smells
  • A protruding stomach


Possible Physical/Biological reasons why a woman can be pregnant and not know it

I’ll share with you possible reasons why cryptic pregnancy is possible:

  1. There are women whose periods are not frequent and irregular. They could be pregnant and assume that it’s a problem of infrequent/irregular periods. Furthermore, during the early days of pregnancy, there is usually light blood spotting that can be mistaken for menstrual bleeding. This blood spotting can make a woman assume she isn’t pregnant.


  1. Very physically fit women may have no periods at all owing to strenuous exercise. Meaning that they are deprived of the early sign of “a missed period”. Stress has been identified as being capable of reducing the quantity of pregnancy hormones. Meaning that a woman who is stressed may not have that much signs of pregnancy.


  1. A baby who is very small in size may not give any noticeable pregnancy bump. This is more so if the woman is on the larger size.


  1. Chromosomal anomalies, a birth defect could also hamper the production of pregnancy hormones in a woman. This can result in suppressed pregnancy symptoms. In this case the baby’s defect may have caused the suppressed pregnancy symptoms.


  1. An otherwise healthy baby’s genes may result in the production of low quantity of pregnancy hormones. In this case, pregnancy symptoms were suppressed because there weren’t normal levels of hormones.


  1. An obese woman or one whose size often goes up and down might not notice the extra baby weight. Its easier for pregnancy bumps to be noticed on slimmer women.


Would blood test detect cryptic pregnancy?

Sure. Cryptic pregnancy doesn’t hide under pregnancy tests. If you subject yourself to pregnancy tests, you can say for certain whether you are pregnant or not. This phenomenon happens to women that didn’t go through pregnancy tests.


Consequences of being pregnant and not knowing it

There are lots of medications that are inappropriate for the health and well being of a baby in the womb. A woman that is unaware of her pregnancy might endanger the unborn baby by taking such drugs. Being pregnant and not knowing it can also cause the woman harm. Just imagine if she engaged in very tasking activities that aren’t appropriate for pregnant women. It could be really dangerous.

Further readings on being pregnant for months and not knowing it


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