What is a cyptic pregnancy 

A cryptic pregnancy is also known as a stealth pregnancy. This could be due to conventional methods of testing for pregnancy failing or not noticing early symptoms of pregnancy. Cryptic pregnancies are not common but not unheard of. It is estimated through research that 1 out of 475 pregnancies may go undetected until about 20 weeks of pregnancy.


  • Women who recently gave birth – It is possible for ovulation to start sooner than expected after childbirth. A new mom is probably not expecting her period so she may associate any weight gain or abdominal swelling to previous pregnancy.
  • Polycystic Ovary Syndrome PCOS: If you get diagnosed with PCOS or infertility, you won’t think you are pregnant right now.
  •   Perimenopause: Women in their late 30s and 40s could mistake pregnancy to early symptoms of menopause. They may also think their chances of conceiving are much lower at that age.


Symptoms of a cryptic pregnancy is the same as regular pregnancy except that is it not being associated with pregnancy. These include :

  • Missed period 
  • Intermittent spotting 
  • Fewer pregnancy symptoms such as cramping, nausea , backache. There may also be no pregnancy symptoms at all.
  • Baby movement which may sometimes be difficult to feel especially if the placenta is Infront of the uterus.
  • Baby bump


  • No prenatal care- When a woman doesn’t believe that she is pregnant, she doesn’t receive the necessary care, support and nutrition that she needs for a healthy pregnancy.
  • No management of medical conditions: The pregnant woman doesn’t receive the medical tests and evaluations to prevent and manage health issues such as gestational diabetes, preeclampsia or genetic conditions that can affect the baby.
  • No lifestyle changes such as avoiding alcohol and tobacco.
  • Babies born from a cryptic pregnancy are more likely to be underweight or born prematurely.


If you are sexually active and experiencing symptoms unusual for you such as weight gain, tenderness of breast or missed period, take a pregnancy test or consult your healthcare provider.



Content Sources

What is cryptic pregnancy. American Pregnancy Association. https://americanpregnancy.org/getting-pregnant/what-is-a-cryptic-pregnancy/. Accessed April 10th, 2023

What is a cryptic pregnancy. Babycenter. https://www.babycenter.com/pregnancy/health-and-safety/cryptic-pregnancy_40007998. Accessed April 10th, 2023

Cryptic Pregnancy. Cleveland Clinic. https://my.clevelandclinic.org/health/diseases/24428-cryptic-pregnancy. Accessed April 10th, 2023

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