Imagine you have just come to know about the most important and special news of your life— that you're pregnant, and it turns out to be already five months now. It may seem unbelievable, but it is possible to go through a pregnancy without symptoms except for a missed period.

Every pregnancy and every woman is unique. If you are not experiencing any pregnancy symptoms but you have already taken a pregnancy test and the result is positive, it is normal to feel anxious. It is possible to have few or no pregnancy symptoms, especially in the early stages, and still have a healthy baby.

But, why is it so, and what could it mean? Is it a cryptic pregnancy?

What is a Cryptic Pregnancy?

Cryptic pregnancy is when a woman doesn't know she is pregnant. It is also known as stealth or denied pregnancy. If you have a cryptic pregnancy, you might only realize once you move toward the end of your second or you are about to begin your third trimester. It is rare but in some cases, women can only detect they are pregnant when contractions for labor begin.

Research suggests that around 1 in every 400 to 500 women are approximately 20 weeks into pregnancy, i.e., about 5 months pregnant, before realizing it. Additionally, about 1 in every 2,000 women realize they're having a baby after experiencing labor pain.


In cryptic or denied pregnancy, the usual signs and symptoms of being pregnant are usually absent. Some women may not feel any pregnancy symptoms, while others might notice mild signs that could be easily confused with symptoms during pregnancy.

If you're unsure about being pregnant, there are signs you should watch for. A definite sign is not getting your period. However, in cryptic pregnancy, you might experience implantation bleeding or abnormal pregnancy bleeding that might seem similar to your usual period.

Following are some other general signs that every woman should be aware of when unsure about being pregnant–

  • Spotting
  • Sore or swollen breasts
  • Fatigue
  • Nausea or vomiting
  • Bloating
  • Constipation
  • Heartburn
  • Cramping
  • Congestion
  • Frequent urination
  • Sudden food aversions or cravings
Also Read:
Pregnancy Leg Cramps

How Can I Be Pregnant and Not Know?

For mothers who already have kids or women who are pregnant and know it, this might be a little difficult for them to believe that someone could be pregnant and not know about it that to sometimes until labor. But for some, it is possible to be pregnant and not know it.

how Can I Be Pregnant and Not Know

Following are a few reasons that might confuse you about your pregnancy—

Irregular Periods–

If you are having irregular periods, it can make things a little difficult for you as it is one of the major signs of pregnancy, i.e., a missed period. For many women, not having their period on time is a big indication that they might be pregnant.

However, if you are someone who has irregular periods due to stress, certain medications, or conditions like polycystic ovarian syndrome (PCOS), missing a period may not seem to be as concerning as it might be for other women.

Consuming Birth Control Pills–

If in case you use birth control or other forms of contraceptive pills, you might get a second thought about conceiving. However, none of the methods of contraception is completely guaranteed. Some let you skip periods, making it even more difficult to realize you might be pregnant.

Bleeding or Spotting–

Implantation is an early pregnancy symptom. It occurs mainly after 2 weeks of conception when the baby growing inside starts to push the walls of your uterus. This bleeding can be mistaken for regular menstruation, especially for those who don't have heavy periods.

bleeding or Spotting

Some women might experience occasional spotting and bleeding throughout their pregnancy journey even when delivering a healthy baby, which can also be misunderstood as light periods.

No Pregnancy Signs or Symptoms–

Signs of pregnancy differ from woman to woman shortly after getting pregnant. However, if you don't have the basic pregnancy symptoms like feeling nauseous, cramps, morning sickness, or breast tenderness, you might not be fully aware of being pregnant. Even if you throw up a little, the first thing that comes to your mind is— it could be a stomach bug or some other short-term sickness.


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No Weight Gain or Baby Bump–

Every woman's body size is different, therefore for some judging a pregnancy weight gain or noticing a baby bump might become difficult at the beginning. For instance, If you're a plus-size woman, it might take you some time to realize you're pregnant. Similarly, if you are into gyming, dieting, and workouts, you might lose weight instead of gaining it.

no Weight Gain or Baby Bump

Negative Pregnancy Test Result–

Almost every home pregnancy tests claim to be highly accurate, but that doesn't mean they're always right. These tests identify different levels of a hormone called human chorionic gonadotropin (hCG) in your urine to detect the result. Therefore, it is possible to get a false result saying you're not pregnant.

Sometimes not following the instructions carefully or taking the test too early might not show a positive result.

Medical History of Infertility–

Women struggling to conceive or having health issues causing infertility might make them think they can never become pregnant. Older women also feel it is not possible to conceive anymore or might confuse pregnancy symptoms with signs of menopause.

medical History of Infertility

Cannot Feel the Baby Move–

Usually, pregnant women start to feel their baby kick or move around 18 to 20 weeks into pregnancy. However, if the placenta is at the front of your uterus, you might not feel these movements.

Risk of No Pregnancy Symptoms

Research shows pregnancy without any symptoms mostly results in miscarriage. This is mainly because when a woman doesn't realize she is pregnant, she often fails to take the necessary precautions and unknowingly indulges in doing things like consuming alcohol or smoking. Mostly early miscarriages happen before someone even realizes they're pregnant. This is even before the symptoms have started showing up.

Risk of No Pregnancy Symptoms
Also Read:
Pregnancy Complications to Look Out For!

The Bottom Line

When you are pregnant, it is normal to have symptoms like feeling sick or tired. But some women don't have any symptoms at all except for missing their period which normally does not make them think of being pregnant.

The problem is, if you don't know you're pregnant, you might not get the right medical care at the right time. That is the reason it is important to take a pregnancy test and see a doctor if you think you might be pregnant. That way, you can make sure you give birth to a healthy baby without any pregnancy complications.


WebMD: What is Cryptic Pregnancy?

Bbay Center: Is it okay to be pregnant with no pregnancy symptoms?

The Bump: Is It Possible to Have No Pregnancy Symptoms?