Is it possible for a Woman not to know she is Pregnant

It may seem impossible for a woman not to know that she is pregnant. In extreme cases, pregnancy does get discovered in the late stage or even at birth. Today, women are more educated and knowledgeable. Yet there are women of average intelligence who may be ignorant throughout their lives until they reach a certain age when they become wives, what procreation is all about and how to recognize pregnancy in the early stage. Is it possible for a woman not to know she is pregnant? The answer is a surprising ‘yes’ for the following reasons:

Women who are intellectually disabled and who have not had sex and sexuality education, whether formally or informally, may fall into this category. This small segment of the community may be taken advantage of by ruthless sex slaves and not realize that they are vulnerable to motherhood and a host of diseases that are not welcomed. The movie ‘Agnes of God’ portrays sad truths about this minority of women.

Women with irregular menstrual cycles fall into this category. They are not able to ascertain if a missed period occurs because they have not ovulated or because they are already pregnant. The only way to find out is to undergo some tests to find out if they are pregnant. Alternatively,  when the bump in the belly grows bigger, they will go for a medical check up and confirm the pregnancy.

Womanhood is determined by the onset of puberty. Hence teenagers who have reached puberty but do not have the emotional or intellectual intelligence are vulnerable victims of rape and sexual assault. Some teenagers also go into the act on the count of love. Unfortunately they are either ignorant or in denial when they become pregnant especially if they have lots of puppy fat. They, like their parents and friends, will probably just brush off the increase in waist and weight as part of the growing up pangs.

Another seemingly unlikely but still possible group of people who can get pregnant without realizing it are mothers in their late forties and in the menopausal phase. Although pregnant, they may dismiss the missed periods as the onset of menopause, especially if they still have the pouch from previous pregnancies. If the biblical Sarah who laughed when she heard the angel telling her husband Abraham that he would have a child through her in her late nineties, did in the end bear Isaac, present day miracles like hers are possible.

Women these days are more robust and medically fitter due to the high standards of medical care and nutrition. There have also been cases of women in their fifties who helped their daughters surrogate their grandchildren. Moreover, more women are becoming first time mothers in their teenage and post thirties, the latter age group being thought impossible centuries ago.

What can be done to help the public be more aware that pregnancies can happen to women in the above-mentioned scenarios? Better awareness may save the lives of both the women and their unborn. Unawareness of the possibilities of teen pregnancies can result in frantic new teen mothers throwing their newborn down rubbish chutes or flushing them in toilet bowls.

Lack of awareness in older women can also lead to early natural abortions with the foetus being stuck in the womb until complications arise resulting in unnatural womb growths. The women in this scenario may undergo life threatening encounters.

The public needs to be educated in the above aspects. Sexuality education in schools should be a continual process that is nurtured by trained professionals rather than blushing form teachers who are embarrassed to broach the subject. The key issue is this: if it has happened before, nobody can stop it from happening to you. Women at risk in each category can also be made aware of possibilities during their yearly check ups. When lives are at stake, it is better to be safe than sorry.