Absence of periods, painful breasts, weight gain, swollen belly and feeling of movements inside the belly… Contrary to pregnancy denial, some women sometimes believe they are pregnant when they are not.
The symptoms they describe seem indisputable, and they are convinced of the reality of pregnancy, some of them remaining so sometimes even in the face of all the medical evidence attesting to its absence!
“It is disturbing to note that, in these women, as in the cases of denial, the psyche will influence the somatic to the point of creating a kind of parallel reality”
, notes Isabelle Derrendinger, president of the National Council of the Order of Midwives.
Documented cases of pseudo-pregnancies, or pseudocyeses, formerly called "nervous pregnancies", are very rare;
Isabelle Derrendinger herself reports having met only one patient of this type during her career.
But these illusions of pregnancy can provide valuable lessons...
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