pseudocyesis


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pseudocyesis

(so͞o'dōsīē`sĭs), imaginary pregnancy in women usually resulting from a strong desire or need for motherhood. In the absence of conception, the menstrual periods nevertheless cease, the abdomen becomes enlarged and the breasts swell and even secrete milk, mimicking genuine pregnancy. The uterus and cervix may show signs of pregnancy, urine tests may be falsely positive, and the woman may report sensations of fetal movements. A woman may believe in her pregnancy to the point of delusiondelusion,
false belief based upon a misinterpretation of reality. It is not, like a hallucination, a false sensory perception, or like an illusion, a distorted perception.
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 and show acute depressiondepression,
in psychiatry, a symptom of mood disorder characterized by intense feelings of loss, sadness, hopelessness, failure, and rejection. The two major types of mood disorder are unipolar disorder, also called major depression, and bipolar disorder, whose sufferers are
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 when no baby is born. It has been suggested that depression can sometimes alter the activity of the pituitary glandpituitary gland,
small oval endocrine gland that lies at the base of the brain. It is sometimes called the master gland of the body because all the other endocrine glands depend on its secretions for stimulation (see endocrine system).
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 so as to cause hormone level changes that mimic the hormone changes of real pregnancy.

pseudocyesis

[¦sü·dō·sī′ē·səs]
(medicine)
A condition characterized by amenorrhea, enlargement of the abdomen, and other symptoms simulating gestation, due to an emotional disorder.