We know very well that the arrival of a new member to the family is a reason for happiness and illusion; feel how a life grows inside the womb and imagine together with your partner what it will be like, while both create plans for the future of the three (or four, or five ...). However, there are times when this happiness can become a total exhausting challenge, when the couple has difficulties conceiving and the illusion turns into hopelessness. We are talking about women who suffer a psychological pregnancy, a nightmare that is best faced as a couple.
Infertility can cause multiple frictions between the couple or trust problems in one of the spouses. But, it can also trigger an emotional disorder capable of distorting the reality that the couple lives, as is the case of psychological pregnancy, also known as phantom pregnancy, imaginary pregnancy, or pseudocyesis.
Psychological pregnancy is a psychosomatic and emotional disorder that occurs in women as a result of the constant pressure of the desire to get pregnant. Symptoms similar to those of a pregnancy can occur, such as dizziness, nausea, cravings, amenorrhea, fatigue, drowsiness and even cases of swelling of the belly, breasts and milk production, even if there is no presence of a fetus.
Generally, psychological pregnancy occurs in women who find it difficult to remain in a state or that they are sterile. But cases have also been reported where women who are afraid and are avoiding getting pregnant at all costs can suffer from it.
Why does psychological pregnancy occur? As I mentioned before, the main reason is the pressure that pregnancy itself puts on the woman and the couple. Either the desire to conceive or to prevent it. This psychological pressure leads to neuronal overexcitation, which activates the production of prolactin in amounts similar to those of a pregnancy, generating the appearance of its symptoms as if it were a positive case.
These symptoms can also appear in cases of false positives, where the woman takes a pregnancy test and it is positive, but at the time of the ultrasound no fetus appears. So it is recommended that, if you present some of these symptoms and you are in doubt, consult your gynecologist or take a blood test to confirm pregnancy.
Psychological pregnancy can seriously affect women who suffer from it, as well as their partner and their close environment, because it generates a distortion of perceived reality.
For example, in the case of women who yearn to have a child and it is difficult for them to become pregnant, when the psychological pregnancy occurs, new illusions and hopes are created to which they cling, so when clarifying that this is false, They can fall into depression, isolation, generate feelings of learned hopelessness or self-rejection.
Whereas, women who present it while they are avoiding pregnancy may feel insecure with themselves and present a trauma to having future intimate relationships with your partner, due to the fear of going through a similar situation, resulting in a positive pregnancy.
In both scenarios, women's confidence and self-esteem are affected, as well as the quality of the couple's relationship, due to the resulting fears and isolation that damage the intimacy of the couple, both sexually and emotionally. Sometimes the consequences are also suffered by men with a feeling of helplessness and bewilderment at not knowing what to do or how to act.
Well, how can you help a woman suffering a psychological pregnancy? Here are four tips:
The first step to take if a sudden pregnancy is suspected is to confirm it. The most effective way to know if your partner is going through a psychological pregnancy is to attend a consultation with the gynecologist. But remember that this can trigger a number of overwhelming emotions for the woman that can affect both of you, so it is recommended that you attend together.
The most important thing during these cases is to always be with your partner and not judge her feelings of desolation when discovering that she is not pregnant, but try to encourage her to keep trying the pregnancy, but with more care and medical follow-up for a positive result. However, as a couple you should insist that they attend psychological therapy to cope with the resulting trauma, if it warrants it.
3. Psychological therapy
Therapy is provided for cases where the woman has been significantly injured or traumatized by the event, whether it is her desire to become pregnant or not. Therefore, if you notice that your partner declines as the days go by, suggest that he or she attend therapy or that both of you do so to have the best tools to overcome this event and regain the confidence of intimacy as a couple.
4. Carry out various activities
Whether taking a short vacation, doing a new activity as a couple or creating a new life project, it can be very beneficial for the woman to regain her confidence and spirits, which also benefits the recovery of emotional and physical intimacy of the couple.
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