Doctors in southeast Brazil went in to perform a routine Caesarean section on a patient only to find out that she was never pregnant in the first place. The woman, whose name is unknown at the moment, "was so convinced she was pregnant that she altered her prenatal tests that showed otherwise because she was convinced the results were wrong,” Simone Carvalho, a spokeswoman for the Health Department of the coastal city of Cabo Frio told Fox News.
The woman told the doctors that she was 41 weeks pregnant and in pain, the spokeswoman said. She also added that “doctors could not hear the baby's heartbeat, and feeling its life was in danger, ordered an emergency Caesarean after which they discovered it was a false pregnancy."
This instance is not isolated, as pseudocyesis, or false pregnancy, has happened to other women. According to Psychology Today, “the mind tricks the body, and vice versa. Doctors think it develops when a woman obsesses over pregnancy out of desire or fear.”
Many women show physical signs of being pregnant even when they are not — a mind over matter scenario — that can include a break in menstruation or distended stomach due to stress or constipation. Statistics show that 80 percent of women with the condition are married, 14.6 percent are single, 2.3 percent are widowed, and at least one-third of them have been pregnant before, according to a Bryn Mawr College report. Pseudocyesis also happens to only one to six of every 22,000 pregnancies, and it can also happen to children, the elderly, and men.
Earlier this year, the exact opposite happened to a British mom, Amanda Ross, 41. Unbeknownst to her, Ross thought she was constipated and went to the doctor complaining of stomach pains. Soon after, the doctor informed her that she was approximately seven to eight months pregnant, and 15 hours later Ross gave birth to a baby girl.