How do you know if you're in denial of pregnancy?

Comment savoir si on fait un déni de grossesse ?
Written by Marion Goilav

Relecture professionnelle

How to recognize pregnancy denial?

Pregnancy denial is a psychological mechanism that can happen to any woman. It can happen to women who have never had a child, as well as to women who have had previous pregnancies (and who are familiar with the symptoms of pregnancy).

A distinction is made between partial pregnancy denial, where the woman realizes she's pregnant too late to have an abortion, but before giving birth, and total pregnancy denial, where throughout the pregnancy, right up to the moment of delivery, the woman doesn't know she's pregnant.

What are the symptoms of pregnancy denial?

In pregnancy denial, the woman thinks she's not pregnant. All pregnancy-related symptoms are misinterpreted or attributed to other causes. For example, stomach pains may be associated with constipation or a digestive problem. It's worth noting that, in pregnancy denial, a woman may experience bleeding that she associates with irregular periods. In addition, women may put on a little weight, but it's usually not very noticeable and is mistaken for bloating. They may also experience nausea or vomiting. Generally speaking, all symptoms related to pregnancy are poorly perceived. As a result, people don't realize they're pregnant.

The baby positions itself differently in the uterine cavity: it moves upwards and is pressed backwards against the spinal column. The diaphragm and all the other thoracic organs are pushed back.

Is it possible to deny pregnancy just by thinking about it?

The principle of pregnancy denial is that the possibility does not exist at all in the mind of the person concerned. So, even in the face of unusual symptoms, the idea of consulting a doctor won't necessarily come up. In which case, whether it's during a blood test to measure the pregnancy hormone or during an ultrasound scan, the pregnancy will inevitably be discovered, and cannot go unnoticed during these examinations.

What are the consequences of pregnancy denial?

Denial of pregnancy can lead to relationship problems with the baby. In some cases, the mother and/or co-parent may reject the baby because it is an unwanted pregnancy. In such cases, psychological support is offered to women and couples who have experienced pregnancy denial, to avoid post-partum depression. Similarly, the couple can be put in touch with the PMI (Protection Maternelle Infantile) services for assistance with administrative formalities, and even applications for aid if necessary.

How to avoid pregnancy denial?

Contraception is essential to avoid unwanted pregnancy. There are several methods of contraception, with varying degrees of effectiveness: it's up to you to choose the method that suits you best. However, no method of contraception is 100% reliable. Unwanted pregnancies can occur despite infallible conception planning. That's why, when faced with persistent abnormal symptoms, it's a good idea to check whether you're pregnant. If you have had unprotected or inadequately protected intercourse, there are solutions such as the morning-after pill. In France, the deadline for abortion is 12 weeks.

Our menstrual briefs support you throughout your life as a woman: during your period, but also from pregnancy to post-partum.

Back to blog

Our best sellers

1 of 8

The information contained in the articles on is general information only. Although reviewed by health professionals, this information is not error-free, does not constitute health advice or consultation, and is not intended to provide a diagnosis or suggest a course of treatment. Under no circumstances may this information be used as a substitute for medical advice or consultation with a healthcare professional. If you have any questions, please consult your doctor.