We have all heard of stories where women didn’t know they were pregnant till they gave birth. However, if you are a sexually active woman of the reproductive age and have missed a period you cannot rule out the possibility of a pregnancy. There can be several other reasons for a missed period but timely detection of a pregnancy is also important. So what happens is case of unidentified pregnancies? Can it be a threat to the mom and the unborn child? What are the conditions under which pregnancy can remain undetected? Is it common for pregnancies to go undetected? Let’s have a look.
As soon as the egg is fertilised by a sperm and implanted in the human body HCG or human chorionic gonadotropin increases and can be detected in a woman’s urine and blood this is the most obvious clinical marker of pregnancy. There are conditions under which typical symptoms of pregnancy such as pain in the nipples, fatigue, nausea, feeling of illness, heartburn, sore back, change in appetite and taste are not very obviously felt. The most common reason behind an undetected pregnancy is hormonal imbalance either pre-existing or due to any hormonal birth control method or in a premenopausal woman.
Hormonal imbalance may occur in women of all ages. However, women who have been recently pregnant and are breastfeeding take time to go back to regular cycles post-delivery. Among lactating moms, ovulation may occur without them figuring it out. Stress, low body fat levels, Polycystic ovarian syndrome(PCOS) are some of the other reasons which may cause a cryptic pregnancy or pregnancy which remains undetected. Hypothyroidism and PCOS may cause irregular or missed periods in women who suffer from these conditions.
A low level of the hormone hCG or Human chorionic gonadotropin allows the pregnancy to remain undetected on tests. In some women spotting occurs during the pregnancy, i.e. when the embryo attaches to the wall of the uterus and later due to changes in the cervix and this is mistaken as bleeding or menstruation for women who have lighter and shorter periods.
The most common method to ascertain a pregnancy is ultrasound imaging, while early in gestation an embryo may be overlooked in an abdominal ultrasound, after 10 weeks the heartbeat of the foetus is heard during a transvaginal ultrasound. In some women depending on the way their body weight is distributed the baby bump may start showing up at a much-advanced stage of the pregnancy.
If a woman is pregnant and does not know about it several issues can arise. A regular prenatal check-up ensures that both mother and child remain healthy. If you are pregnant and have anaemia your blood doesn’t have enough healthy red blood cells to carry oxygen to the foetus. Low birth weight can cause problems for the child, like learning issues and neurological problems.
Gestational diabetes Mellitus or GDM does not have any outward signs. It is a type of diabetes that occurs during pregnancy and doctors screen pregnant women 24 and 28 weeks of gestation. If it is not detected the baby may grow much larger than normal, and it can reach a condition when the baby is so big that it may be unsafe for the mother to have a vaginal delivery. A situation like this is unsafe for the mother and child both.
It is uncommon for pregnancies to remain undetected till an advanced stage, but it is always better to take precautions and opt for a pregnancy test if you have missed your periods. Miss hui date to mat karo wait.
This article has been posted in collaboration with Prega News, to make #TheJourneyToMotherhood easier.