Recently, I came across a video on Twitter where a lady was narrating how she did not know she was pregnant until the day she went to the doctor because of severe abdominal pains. What shook me was that she only found out that same day when the doctor told her she was 10cm dilated. Personally, I would die. How will you explain the new person you will bring home? Anyways, cryptic pregnancies are a real thing my darlings. Medically, it is proven as well.
So, what are cryptic pregnancies? It is exactly what it sounds like – a mysterious pregnancy that goes unnoticed right up until labour begins. Can you imagine the fright? I am sorry, what? How does one’s body not tell you that there is another human being growing inside you? Many a time, cryptic pregnancies are also called ‘stealth pregnancies’, because they don’t cause typical pregnancy symptoms. If they do cause symptoms such as fatigue or nausea, they’re mild enough to pass as an upset stomach or a temporary illness where you will think light of it.
Although they are definitely one in a million, there are explanations for this because how can I drink savannah and not know I am endangering someone’s life beloveds? Research has shown that only around one in every 475 women will become pregnant and not know until they are past 20 weeks into their pregnancy. This number increases to one in 2 500 women who don’t know they are pregnant until they are giving birth.
Now, what are the possible explanations?
The first one might be that you take birth control. If you take birth control or use contraception strictly and accurately, you might not think you may be pregnant. However so, contraceptives are not as 100% accurate as they seem to be. Some types of birth control allow you to skip periods, which can make it even more difficult to know you’re pregnant. This takes me to the next one – irregular periods.
One of the first and biggest signs of pregnancy for many women is a missed period: Things can become trickier if your periods don’t always arrive like clockwork. If you are under a lot of stress, taking certain medications, or have other health issues like polycystic ovarian syndrome (PCOS), missing a period might not raise the same red flags. Because you are used to irregular periods, you won’t be concerned about anything.
You have some bleeding or intermittent spotting: In early pregnancy, implantation bleeding can happen about two weeks after conception when your future baby attaches to the side of your uterus. This bleeding can sometimes be mistaken for a period, especially for women that don’t bleed heavily. Even in a healthy pregnancy, some women will continue to have intermittent spotting and bleeding throughout pregnancy, which might also be mistaken for light periods. As a result, you will go on about your life thinking you have gotten your periods. Kanti, dololo….you have a whole human being growing inside you.
You don’t have any typical pregnancy signs or symptoms: Many women have a variety of tell-tale pregnancy symptoms starting very soon after conception. If you don’t have any of the normal early symptoms like cramping, nausea, vomiting, or breast tenderness, it’s possible not to know you’re pregnant. Even if you have mild morning sickness, you might simply write it off as a stomach bug or other temporary illness. For example, in the video I came across on Twitter, homegirl was living her best life like nothing was wrong. No signs or cravings of what sort, until the biggest shock of her life came into her life – literally.
You don’t gain weight or have a pronounced baby bump: No two bodies are alike, and each woman will carry her weight differently. If you are a larger woman or you don’t gain a lot of weight as your pregnancy progresses, you might not know you’re pregnant. The same is true if you started dieting or working out early on during your pregnancy — you might lose weight instead of gaining it.
Now, when there is literally nothing one can do to sort of avoid cryptic pregnancies, regular checkups would be the ideal plan for sexually-active people, especially people who love “40” (raw sex). Please beloveds, get that regular pregnancy test at the hospital. You never know when you might carry a bundle of joy. I would lose my mind actually.
* Frieda Mukufa’s lifestyle section concentrates on women-related issues and parenting every Friday in the New Era newspaper. She also specialises in editing research proposals, proofreading as well as content creation.