Symptoms of False Pregnancy

Updated at: Oct 24, 2013
Symptoms of False Pregnancy

Symptoms of false pregnancy are similar to that of actual pregnancy. Presence of certain clinical symptoms makes the woman firmly believe that she is pregnant.

Bushra Kafeel
PregnancyWritten by: Bushra KafeelPublished at: May 20, 2012

False Pregnancy is commonly referred to as ‘pseudocyesis’. As the name suggests, false pregnancy is not an actual pregnancy.

false pregnancy symptomsIt is categorised by the presence of clinical and sub-clinical conditions related to pregnancy when actually the person is not pregnant. Experts suggest that false pregnancy is a psychological issue. Emotional conflicts that arise from the all pervasive desire of women to become pregnant are considered be its main cause. However some professionals believe that etiology needs to be reconsidered due to the presence of physical symptoms in false pregnancy.   


Cessation of Menstruation

One of the common false pregnancy symptoms is amenorrhea (cessation of period). Since amenorrhea is an important sign of early pregnancy, it is often confused as an indication of true pregnancy. In the absence of true pregnancy amenorrhea can be due to depression, anxiety, nutritional deficiency and even polycystic ovarian syndrome (PCOS).


Morning Sickness

False pregnancy can even cause morning sickness, wherein nausea and the feeling of nausea are common throughout the day. Unlike actual pregnancy, hormonal fluctuations do not contribute to this condition. However, experts link morning sickness to the emotional state of women.


Intense thought related to pregnancy can lead to the situation. It can be either fear of becoming pregnant or the desire to conceive.


Breast Enlargement

Breast enlargement is also reported by women who experience such false pregnancy symptoms. Even though change in breast size is not strong indication of pregnancy, but when coupled with other symptoms it may seem convincing.


Foetal Movements

Foetal movement is yet another psychological component of false pregnancy. Women with false pregnancy often claim that they feel the movement of the baby.  Experts suggest that apart from a ‘feeling’ there is nothing more to this condition i.e. no physical cause exists.


Widening of the Abdomen

In false pregnancy women can feel bloated due to expansion of the abdomen. Simple weight gain, gas, faeces and urinary retention can be some of the reasons for swelling in the abdominal area.



It is a commonly observed sign of false pregnancy. However, craving in false pregnancy is quite different from actual pregnancy.




Read more articles on Pregnancy Symptoms.




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