I was a happy woman when I married Dayo. Five years into the marriage, there was no child, not even a miscarriage. My husband’s family with time, had started referring to me as an empty groundnut shell. 

I wept not because of the insults, but for the fact that every time

I visited friends and saw their children play around, I was reminded of my sorrow.

Dayo told me that he loved me no matter what but I still wept at night.

A year later, I missed my period and I started noticing changes in my body.

Finally, I was pregnant or so I thought. In the third

month, my period came and with it tears. I went to see the doctor and he

called it a pseudo pregnancy. I will tell you the way he explained it

to me but in much simpler terms. 

Pseudo-cyesis or pseudo-pregnancy is a condition in which a woman

experiences real pregnancy symptoms when she is not pregnant. It is

believed to be caused by changes in the endocrine system of the

body, causing release of hormones that produce physical symptoms of

pregnancy. The common cause in our society is anxiety about pregnancy

and the emotional desire to get pregnant. The woman may be surrounded

by pregnant friends and relatives so her desire to get pregnant may

manifest in a pseudo-pregnancy. Women prone to pseudo-pregnancy are

usually women in their late thirties, women married without

children, women that have had a miscarriage or lost a child and women

that want children.

The symptoms of pseudo-pregnancy are regular pregnancy symptoms like

cessation of menstruation, swollen breasts, distended abdomen, morning

sickness and cravings. The most important symptom is that the woman believes she is

pregnant even though pregnancy tests may say otherwise.

The solution is for the woman to relax and take her mind off the

Pseudo-pregnancy. If she is experiencing difficulties getting

pregnant, fertility treatments can be administered. I found out after a

series of tests that I had a uterine infection. After the

treatment, Dapo and I went on a vacation. I came back pregnant and I had

my daughter after seven years of marriage. I am no more the empty

groundnut shell.

Written by: Gimbiya Galadima



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