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A Disease Where A Person Beleives They Are Pregnant But They Really Are Not?

Question:

My brothers ex girlfriend is almost 40 weeks pregnant. We have already established the fact that she is a pathological liar. Recently in the event of there separation she announced that the baby in her stomach has no heart beat. Her expected out come of reuniting with my brother and receiving sympathy from everyone backfired. Now magically the baby is well and there is a "she said" heartbeat. During there separation my brother discovered the abundance of used pregnancy test hidden through the house. Under mattresses, in the baby crib and bassinette, the car and diaper bag. The reason is still unknown for there use since she looks and says she is nine months pregnant and tummy is hard as a rock. Last night we received a phone call from the Sheriffs Department, Informing us that she has been hanging around our local hospital and stating that she is an OB patient there. The police officer told us that she had been acting suspicious and she had taken a few pregnancy tests to verify that she was pregnant at the hospital. Each coming up negative for being pregnant. Also, the police officer stated that he wanted to make sure that she wasn’t going to try and do something stupid, like take a baby. I would like to know the name of the disease where a person thinks they are pregnant but really are not. I am thinking that the baby inside her is dead but too large for the body to discard of. Also, she wants more than anything to think the baby is still living in side her hoping the pregnancy test will change to positive. Any information on this topic would be greatly appreciated, i have had no luck searching on the above topic. I am assuming that it is uncommon or not talked about.

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Answer:

The only term I know of for what you are asking about is called "false pregnancy." This is a psychiatric type of illness in which the person not simply believes they are pregnant but may even appear to be pregnant, yet, they are not.

You state that your brother’s ex girl friend is 40 weeks pregnant, and then you state that she is not pregnant, and then you report that you believe she is carrying a dead baby.

It is very difficult to know the truth except that the sheriff’s office reported her as acting in a way that was suspicious in front of the hospital.

The only way I know of to clarify the issue is to have her blood tested by an MD to determine whether or not there is a pregnancy and, if there is, whether or not it is healthy. Finally, even if she is pregnant, is seems to me there would have to be a paternity test in which your brother gives a sample of his DNA to test whether the baby is his…if there is a baby.

I suspect that this woman has some type of mental illness and that the sheriff needs to get involved, with the hospital and her, in order to clarify things and be certain everyone is safe.

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Comments
  • Amit M. Patel, M.D.

    Pseudocyesis is the term you are searching for. There is also a more sexy name for it that is slipping my mind at the moment.

    -Dr. Patel

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