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It can be a Cryptic Pregnancy, do you know?

Cryptic pregnancy. Not even heard, right? Yes, it is not that common with this word but has been heard several times. Surprised? Come let us know what is exactly a cryptic pregnancy along with its causes, symptoms, labor and delivery methods.

What is Cryptic Pregnancy?

Cryptic pregnancy is not any pregnancy complications, rather it is that type of pregnancy wherein the conventional and other medical testing methods fails to detect a pregnancy. Hence, if you are trying to detect your gestation via home pregnancy test kit, you will see ‘negative’ result despite being pregnant.

It can be scary or confusing to know that you are pregnant with seven, eight or nine months. Even more surprising, many women come to know about their pregnancy when they experience labor pain as the ‘first’ sign of their pregnancy. Even if they did not have that baby bump.

There was a television show called “I don’t know I was pregnant” at MTV, which showcased the real cases of those parents who experienced this Cryptic Pregnancy phase.

Okay, in order to have a better understanding let us now look into its causes, symptoms and the labor and delivery options available.

Causes of Cryptic Pregnancy

Fluctuating hormones can be one of the causes behind cryptic pregnancy. As this fluctuation of hormones which leads to irregular menstrual cycles lowers the level of hCG level which is responsible for detecting pregnancy.

The fluctuation of hormones and a cryptic pregnancy can be associated with each other through several factors like,

Poly Cystic Ovarian Syndrome (PCOS) -

This is a type of hormonal disorder that affects the reproductive process of a woman. Due to this hormonal imbalance, irregular menstrual cycles take place. This irregularity in periods makes a woman unsure about her pregnancy.

Recent Pregnancy -

Usually, periods may not return soon after the delivery and this can happen for several months. Due to this assumption, many women do not think that they may get pregnant again during their nursing stage too. They overlook those minor symptoms thinking it to be a postpartum state of the body.

Contraceptive Pills or Intrauterine Devices (IUD) -

These methods of birth control usually creates confidence in the minds of a couple that they can not become the parents unless they are using these methods of birth control. However, these methods can be failed in some situations.

Stress -

The more stress you take, the more hormone fluctuations you will experience. Therefore, it is necessary to follow a healthy lifestyle to prevent hormone fluctuations.

Low body fat -

A woman with low body fat or even an athlete can experience irregular periods from time to time. Thus it leads to lower the level of those hormones which are responsible for detecting pregnancy.


In an ideal case of pregnancy, a woman starts experiencing her first pregnancy symptoms like swollen breasts, morning sickness, fatigue, etc. right from the first trimester, but here in case of cryptic pregnancy, none of the symptoms will come up to show that you are pregnant. In fact, a home test for pregnancy too will come up as negative. And sometimes there are certain psychological reasons due to which the pregnancy symptoms do not seem to be major to you. These psychological reasons can be -

  • Fewer chances of getting pregnant

  • Irregular periods have become common to you.

  • You are pregnant but unaware of it, hence simply misunderstanding it with stressful body symptoms.

The other common signs and symptoms of cryptic pregnancy, which have been often ignored thinking it to be a normal body response to a hormonal change.

  • Period like bleeding, although it is short-lived but quite sufficient enough to raise confusion in mind.

  • Mild nausea and vomiting which is often misunderstood as a stomach infection.

  • The movement of the uterus will feel like a movement of gas.

Is bleeding dangerous for a fetus during cryptic pregnancy?

Periods are regular during cryptic pregnancy, however, the flow will not be the usual one. It can be a sometimes lighter or can be heavier ones too. The intervals may also fluctuate to regular or random. It all happens due to the shedding of the uterus lining, but it does not indicate a miscarriage.

How can a woman does not know that she is pregnant?

The missing of periods does not always indicate pregnancy. It can be due to several reasons, like PCOS, peri-menopause, stress, lactation amenorrhea, etc. For all these reasons a woman may not be able to detect her pregnancy.

How can Urine and Blood Tests give negative results?

In a typical pregnancy, the outcome is concluded based on hCG level included in the body. hCG is a hormone delivered by the placenta after the implantation. In any case, on account of cryptic pregnancy, the uterine covering is routinely expelled from the body, along these lines not permitting hCG levels to develop. Consequently, urine and blood tests are negative in cryptic pregnancy.


Labor and delivery for cryptic pregnancy are similar to normal pregnancy. You will experience contractions which will feel like severe menstrual cramps. This contraction will occur when your baby comes in a dilated position at the cervix and ready to pass the birth canal. Here, you will need to push your baby out through the cervix.


Cryptic pregnancy is a no way pregnancy complication. Being an experienced woman of cryptic pregnancy, I can say that this somewhat makes pregnancy easier, but yes it gives big psychological stress if you were unprepared to become a parent. Nonetheless, there is no harm involved in your baby under this type of pregnancy.

Remember, if you are married and sexually active then please go for the regular check-ups by a good gynecologist/obstetrician. Missing of periods or delayed periods every month is not a healthy sign.

You may now be interested in reading further how to plan for pregnancy when you're overweight.

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