Despite significant progress in our understanding of the brain and how it works, it still can baffle doctors and scientists. One of these such mysteries is the phenomenon of pseudocyesis, or false pregnancy. Pseudocyesis, described by Hippocrates, affects both women (including Mary Tudor, Queen of England) and men. It mimics all the symptoms of pregnancy--but without a fetus. Read on for some suggestions for coping with this disorder are below.
Verify that there is no real pregnancy. Pseudocyesis can cause all possible symptoms of a real pregnancy, aside from a fetal heartbeat and the presence of a baby and birth. Although pseudocyesis may cause a false positive on a pregnancy test, this is rare. An ultrasound showing there is no baby is the most successful way of confirming the lack of a real pregnancy.
Treat the physical symptoms. The most common symptom that may require intervention is the lack of a menstrual period. Treatment involves the use of a prescription medication to trigger menstruation.
Test for any underlying endocrine disorders. An imbalance in the body's hormones is sometimes a contributing factor to pseudocyesis. High levels of prolactin and estrogen are seen in many pseudocyesis cases. Some are a result of the effects of the disorder, while others are a result of problems of the endocrine system, including a malfunctioning pituitary gland.
Seek the help of a psychotherapist. The majority of pseudocyesis cases are a result of an underlying psychological issue. These include an intense desire to become pregnant, an intense fear of becoming pregnant, wish-fulfillment, and depression.