False Pregnancy: Symptoms and Treatment

False (imaginary) pregnancy — is a mental disorder, which consists in the mistaken belief of a female representative that she will become a mother. The reason for this is the presence of characteristic symptoms.

A large number of predisposing factors can cause such a disorder, but at present the mechanism of development of such a disease remains unclear.

The clinical picture is those signs that are typical for the usual course of pregnancy. This includes the signs of morning toxicosis, weight gain, breast enlargement and unusual eating habits.

The disorder is recognized on the basis of a gynecological examination, ultrasound and pregnancy tests. The treatment is only conservative, but several specialists participate in it simultaneously.


A false or imaginary pregnancy is considered a rare disorder in gynecology, in which a woman does not pretend to be in her condition, but in reality she is sure that she will have a child.

The reasons for the formation of such a pathology have not been fully studied, but it is believed that it leads to psychological or emotional factors that have arisen against the background of endocrine, vegetative and somatic disorders.

The sources of development of such a syndrome most often become:

  • impaired functioning of the pituitary gland — there is an increased secretion of hormones
  • the course of an ectopic pregnancy;
  • dysfunction of the ovaries, as well as the formation of malignant or benign tumors on such internal organs of the female reproductive system
  • Adrenal pathology
  • hypothyroidism
  • instability of the psychoemotional state
  • neuroses and psychoses;
  • hysterical state
  • Ovarian cysts
  • uterine myoma and other gynecological pathologies
  • formation of secondary amenorrhea.

In addition to the above pathological sources of such a violation, among the predisposing factors is:

  1. the course of pregnancy in a close relative or girlfriend — while the patient herself wants to feel the state of pregnancy and the proximity of motherhood
  2. diagnosed infertility;
  3. long-term and unsuccessful attempts to become pregnant — the main risk group is made up of representatives of the weaker sex in the age category from thirty to forty years;
  4. the loss of a child that was previously transferred;
  5. the presence of a woman in the medical history of repeated spontaneous termination of pregnancy at various times
  6. unwillingness to have children and the presence of panic fear before the period of childbearing and labor activity

It is worth noting that the syndrome of false pregnancy affects not only the female half of humanity, but also the male. Relatively rare, men may experience symptoms of pregnancy. Often this happens against the background of a strong empathy for the state of the partner who is currently carrying the child.


The clinical manifestation of false pregnancy in women practically does not differ from the symptoms of this pregnancy. In case of such a disorder, there may be a presence:

  • delay or total absence of menstruation;
  • Morning signs of toxicosis, which include nausea and vomiting, increased fatigue and excessive salivation, and drowsiness;
  • frequent mood swings;
  • swelling of the lower limbs;
  • unusual taste preferences;
  • mammary gland enlargement and even colostrum discharge
  • increased gas generation;
  • increase in the size of the abdomen — this is due to the increased formation of subcutaneous tissue in the anterior wall of the abdominal cavity
  • Constipation
  • Feelings of fetal movement is the most specific, but at the same time, the most rare symptom
  • false birth fights — is also very rare.

The fact that with imaginary pregnancy results of specially designed tests show a positive result aggravates the situation.

In the vast majority of cases, signs of false pregnancy persist for three or four months, but in especially hypothetical representatives of the weak half of humanity, characteristic symptoms can manifest much longer, up to seven months.


How to determine a false pregnancy is known obstetrician-gynecologist. This requires an integrated approach. Thus, the establishment of the correct diagnosis will include:

  1. studying the patient’s medical history and history in order to find the most probable cause that could lead to pseudo-alteration
  2. gynecological examination — in case of false pregnancy, the woman will not have the most characteristic signs. These include the cyanosis of the cervix and the vaginal area, as well as the increase and softening of the uterus;
  3. a detailed interview of the patient for the first time of appearance and intensity of symptomatology, characteristic for the period of bearing of the child
  4. performing a pregnancy test that will show a positive result;
  5. a general blood test — to determine the concentration of hCG in the blood
  6. clinical laboratory study of urine — to detect the level of chorionic gonadotropin
  7. biological and immunological tests
  8. Obstetric radiography of the peritoneum;
  9. Ultrasound of the abdominal cavity and pelvic organs

In addition, consultations of such specialists will be necessary: ​​

  • Endocrinologist
  • psychiatrist
  • Therapist

All of the above diagnostic measures are aimed not only at establishing the correct diagnosis, but also for conducting differential diagnosis. An imaginary pregnancy must be distinguished from:

  1. Simulated pregnancy
  2. a dead pregnancy;
  3. Ectopic pregnancy;
  4. the course of the tumor process in the peritoneum or in the pelvic organs


Such a violation often does not require specific therapy. If the pathology was not caused by any disease, then the treatment is limited to such measures:

  • taking hormonal substances
  • a competent explanation of the situation with a gynecologist
  • understanding and support of close relatives

In such cases, after the disappearance of autosuggestion, the patient’s menstrual cycle returns to normal, the manifestations of toxicosis are eliminated, and other symptoms of pregnancy are stopped.

In those situations, if during the diagnosis were found disorders from the endocrine system, the treatment is engaged gynecologist-endocrinologist or therapist-endocrinologist.

With persistent refusal to believe in a false course of the period of bearing a child, as well as inadequate perception of reality, patients need qualified help from such doctors:

  1. neurologist
  2. Psychologist
  3. Therapist

In particularly sensitive and susceptible women, the news of false pregnancy can cause development:

  • Depressive state
  • suicidal thoughts
  • attempts to commit suicide

A similar situation is observed in patients with neurosis-like reactions and serious mental disorders. In such situations treatment is shown in specialized clinics.

Possible complications

Pseudobregnancy in itself is not a serious pathology and it is rare that the news that a woman does not become a mother leads to the development of suicidal tendencies.

Nevertheless, such a pathology can serve as one of the signs of quite dangerous gynecological, endocrine and mental pathologies. It is for this reason that when the first characteristic symptoms occur, it is necessary to seek the advice of clinicians.

Prevention and Forecast

Specially designed measures to prevent such a violation is not developed, because doctors are not fully aware of the mechanisms and causes of such a pathology. However, in order to prevent the development of an ailment, it is necessary: ​​

  1. ensure a favorable microclimate in the family
  2. maintain trust with a partner
  3. Do not ignore symptoms and seek qualified help in a timely manner
  4. engage in early detection and complete treatment of hormonal disorders, gynecological and endocrine pathologies
  5. Minimize heavy physical activities
  6. Avoid stress and nerve stress as much as possible
  7. undergo a full medical examination several times a year, with a mandatory visit to the gynecologist, endocrinologist, psychologist and psychotherapist

The forecast of imaginary pregnancy is often favorable — if once such a condition has been cured, then the repeated development of the disease in the vast majority of cases does not develop.

Many patients are interested in the question of whether pseudo-meneness can pass on their own. This is entirely possible only in cases where the characteristic clinical manifestations were not caused by other pathologies.

It is worth noting that in men this condition does not develop so much, does not lead to thoughts of suicide and passes as soon as the partner gives birth to a child.