Q: Doctor, please share with us the consequences of faking pregnancy for women that take drugs to get their stomach swollen as if they are pregnant. I’m really worried about the situation. I do hear such stories.
A: Hmm! Interesting question! There are usually 5 Fs that can cause a swollen tummy. They include fat, faeces, flatus, fetus and fluids. Taking any medication to cause a swollen tummy is definitely not in anyone’s best interests. If this is causing the body to retain unnecessary fluids, there are health risks involved including the potential for high blood pressure.
There are instances where women fake pregnancy for different reasons: pressure to get pregnant in their marital homes or trying to put pressure on partners to make a commitment (perhaps marriage) etc. By the way, the latter case can be sued to court 😀 It could also happen in schizophrenia (a mental disorder) in which case the person has delusions of pregnancy. However, there are other instances where a woman (and in some instances, a man) truly believes she’s pregnant but she’s not. This is called a false pregnancy and the person in question has a lot, if not all, the symptoms of pregnancy!
The exact cause of this false pregnancy, also known as pseudo-cyesis (pronounced siu-do sa-ye-sis) is not really known but it does appear that psychological issues (perhaps from the factors mentioned above where a woman is pressured to get pregnant, has had repeated miscarriages, is worried about ever getting pregnant as menopause approaches) may lead to a situation where her body begins to produce pregnancy signs like swollen abdomen, swollen breasts etc. The brain then swings into action, erroneously interprets these signs as those of pregnancy, and begins to produce pregnancy hormones which lead to pregnancy symptoms like nausea and vomiting, absence of menstruation, weight gain etc. These symptoms could last for weeks, months or sometimes, even up to years. Sounds stranger than fiction, right?! 😀
The doctor will need to confirm the presence or absence of a pregnancy. Definitive treatment will involve psychological therapy given the fact these people genuinely believed that they were pregnant.
I hope this helps address your worries.
The count down is on, people. I hope you’re planning to eat healthy these holidays? Tomorrow, I will put together a number of my random recipes that I believe would be helpful this season.
Happy Id El Maulud to the muslims and a very merry Christmas to all christians!
Have a good night y’all 😀