Pregnancy is a period that starts from conception to the delivery of the baby and during this time a fetus grows and develops inside the mother’s womb or uterus. It usually lasts about 40 weeks (280 days) or 9 months and 7 days calculated from the first day of the last menstrual period up to the expected date of delivery.
Pregnancy occurs when a sperm fertilizes an egg which is released from the ovary during ovulation. After getting fertilized in the Fallopian tube, it moves into the uterus for implantation. After successful implantation, pregnancy starts.
Features of true pregnancy
- Missed period
- Nausea and vomiting
- Frequency of urination
- Enlargement of the uterus as per period of amenorrhoea
- Fetal movements
- Fetal heart sound
- True labour pains
True pregnancy is a physiological process where the baby grows in the womb; false pregnancy is a psychological process where a woman has a false belief of being pregnant.
False pregnancy, also known as pseudocyesis is the psychological disorder where the woman has the false but firm belief that she is pregnant although no pregnancy exists.
Feature of false pregnancy
- This occurs most often in women who are infertile and have an intense desire to have a child.
- There is a stoppage of menstruation due to underlying causes.
- Gradual enlargement of the abdomen due to deposition of fat.
- Secretions from the breast and intestinal movements are assumed to be of fetal movements
- In some cases, the condition lasts longer until spurious labour sets in.
- Ultrasound and immunological tests for pregnancy are required to deny the diagnosis.
The enlargement of the uterus due to pregnancy have to be differentiated from the swelling of the abdomen and pelvic organs such as uterine fibroid, ovarian tumours, peritonitis or even distended urinary bladder. These disorders should be ruled out by ultrasound and imaging, and prompt treatment is started.
In the above post, we have discussed the difference between true and false pregnancy. True pregnancy is a physiological process where the baby grows in the womb whereas false pregnancy is a psychological process where a woman has a false belief of being pregnant.