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Pseudocyesis, also known as false pregnancy or hysterical pregnancy, is a rare psychological condition in which a woman displays signs and symptoms of a real pregnancy even though she is not pregnant. The average age of women with pseudocyesis is 33.
To be diagnosed as true pseudocyesis, the woman must actually believe that she is pregnant. When a woman's pseudocyesis is found to be caused by underlying psychological problems, she should be referred to a psychologist or a therapist.
The symptoms of pseudocyesis, or false pregnancy, are similar to the symptoms of true pregnancy and are difficult to distinguish from real pregnancy, even by trained physicians because of false-positive pregnancy tests.
The most common sign of false pregnancy is abdominal distention or a bloated belly that is much larger than expected. The woman's abdomen (tummy) expands as a normal pregnant woman's would, but at a more rapid rate than a normal pregnancy.