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What is psuedocyesis?
 False pregnancy
 Pseudocyesis in humans
 Pseudopregnancy in other mammals
 The appearance of clinical and/or subclinical signs
and symptoms associated with pregnancy when
the person or animal is not pregnant.
 Clinically, false pregnancy is most common in
veterinary medicine (dogs and mice).
 False pregnancy in humans is less common, and
may sometimes be purely psychological.
What are the causes?
 Psychological disorder causing a women to
“believe” she is pregnant.
 Women who experience false pregnancy have
an extremely strong desire to be pregnant
and experience the process of pregnancy.
 Women who have false pregnancies tend to
experience false pregnancy symptoms
around the same time that their relatives
and friends are experiencing pregnancy.
 Research has also linked false pregnancy to
the pituitary gland and specifically, to an
unusually high level of hormones.
Causes Cont.
 This hormone imbalance is often sparked by
stress and anxiety, which in turn causes the
emotional and psychological shifts that lead
a woman to falsely believe she is expecting.

False pregnancy symptoms
 Women who have false pregnancies will claim
to have, and in some cases, actually exhibit,
the following true pregnancy symptoms:
 Cessation of menstruation
 Cravings
 Wideningof the abdomen
 Enlargement of the breasts

False Pregnancy Diagnosis
 A negative urine pregnancy test will prove
that the woman’s symptoms are unfounded
 Some women continue to believe they are
pregnant after a negative pregnancy result.
 Women with pseudocyesis sometimes test
positive on a pregnancy test, making
diagnosis of the condition more baffling for
 Sonographic imaging is a definite source to
rule out pregnancy.

False Pregnancy: Which Women
Are Most at Risk?
 Women who are most at risk for pseudocyesis
 women in their late thirties or early forties, who
have been trying to conceive for many years
and who may have fertility problems .
 women who are not generally emotionally
unstable but who are extremely emotional
with regard to pregnancy .
 women who have suffered a miscarriage or who
have lost a child.

Nursing care for pseudocyesis
 For women experiencing pseudocyesis,
counseling is usually recommended in order
to treat underlying emotional and
psychological causes of false pregnancy,
including stress, anxiety and depression.
 Symptoms of pseudocyesis generally last from
a few months to a few years. In most cases,
symptoms last for a full nine months. There
is a high success rate for treatments
involving psychotherapy , as it treats the
underlying psychological causes of the