According to Dr Rubina Hassan, chairperson of Obstetrics and Gyneacology at Ziauddin University and Hospital Karachi, about 20% of expecting mothers have no inkling that they are expecting until late into the pregnancy. “Each pregnancy varies and so, it is highly likely that a woman skips all key symptoms completely,” explains Dr Rubina. “Regardless of whether it was planned or not, 80% of women can tell as the developing foetus starts moving and kicking.
Sometimes though, the baby is less active or rests in a way that the mother cannot feel its presence.” In such cases, it is generally after the first trimester that it begins to sink in. “Most baby movements begin in the fifth month and are common in 90% of pregnancies,” adds Dr Rubina.
For most doctors, the ideal and most reliable method of detecting a pregnancy is via a blood test. “These days, women resort to over-the-counter pregnancy tests which do not always beget accurate results,” claims Dr Rubina. “Not to mention, it is necessary to wait for one week after a missed period to take these home pregnancy tests. False readings will obviously lead to undetected pregnancies.”
Early Pregnancy Symptoms
“Patients with a history of ovarian complications like cysts simply assume the discomfort and pain they feel is because of their condition, not a baby,” Dr Rubina explains. Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome (PCOS) — a condition wherein tiny cysts develop on the ovaries, thereby impeding regular periods — is one of the most common causes of infertility as well as unsuspected pregnancies in women.
Dr Rubina also adds that some expecting mothers continue to experience bleeding well into their pregnancy which deceives them into thinking they are without child.