Dr Oz: Women Who Didn’t Know They Were Pregnant
Dr. Oz wanted to talk more about cryptic pregnancies, after hearing two remarkable stories about women who didn’t know they were pregnant until they were actually in labor. He was joined by chief women’s health contributor and OB/GYN Jennifer Ashton. The term they were using was “cryptic pregnancy” although it’s not an obstetric or medical term, it’s an appropriate term because it means that the pregnancy is “hidden” or “secret” from the woman. It’s certainly not the norm and it’s not known exactly why it happens, but it’s thought to happen in about one in 450 women who don’t know they’re pregnant until about 20 weeks. About one in 2500 to one in 7500 don’t find out their pregnant until their water breaks and they’re in labor.
It used to be thought that the women who experience cryptic pregnancies were mentally ill or “detached from their bodies” but there’s plenty of proof that’s not true. Additionally, women who experience cryptic pregnancies are generally subjected to a big stigma and sometimes shame and embarrassment from people who wonder how they couldn’t have known they were pregnant.
Dr Oz: Cryptic Pregnancies
About half of the pregnancies in America are unplanned, which is different than unwanted. Dr Ashton also pointed out that both women Dr Oz spoke to experienced bleeding throughout their pregnancy. That can cause a lot of confusion for women who believe they’re getting their period so they’re not pregnant. Additionally, anyone who’s had hormonal stimulation or hormonal imbalance may not have regular cycles. Cryptic pregnancies aren’t entirely understood, but it does happen.
Dr Oz: Factors That Contribute To Hidden Pregnancies
Dr Oz pointed out one factor that may contribute to a cryptic pregnancy. It all relates to where the embryo implants in the uterus. Inside the womb, there are a lot of spaces where the egg can implant. If it implants in the top of the back of the uterus, kicks and movement can be easily felt. But if the egg implants in the front of the uterus, there’s extra “cushioning” that muffles those movements, making them harder to feel and see.
Other factors that could cause a woman to not know she was pregnant include the bony configuration of the woman’s pelvis and how the uterus and fetus lie inside her. The size and activity level of the fetus will also differ, as well as body awareness in patients.
Dr Ashton encouraged all women to know their body and know what’s normal for them. The mind-body connection is very important. It’s important for babies and expecting mothers to get prenatal care. If you’re even slightly unsure about something you’re feeling or experiencing, get a drugstore pregnancy test to rule out pregnancy.