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Acta Obstet Gynecol Scand. 2007;86(5):542-6.

Denial of pregnancy--characteristics of women at risk.

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  • 1Department of Obstetrics, Charité, Campus Virchow-Klinikum, Humboldt-University, and Department of Urogynecology, German Pelvic Floor Center, ST. Hedwig Hospitals, Berlin, Germany.



Denial of pregnancy is a woman's subjective lack of awareness of being pregnant. Denial throughout most of gestation or until delivery may be associated with significant risks for both mother and fetus. We wanted to investigate if maternal characteristics were useful in order to identify women at risk.


A 1-year prospective study was performed to recruit all women with denied pregnancies in Berlin, Germany. Maternal parameters were analysed and sociodemographic variables were compared with the regional birth register.


Sixty-five women were recruited. Maternal age was between 15 and 44 years (median 27 years). Only 21 women had never been pregnant before. A large majority (83%) had a close partner. Three women had a psychiatric diagnosis of schizophrenia, and only one a current abuse of analgesics/tranquilizer.


The group of women with denied pregnancy was heterogeneous, and a clear-cut typology of a 'pregnancy denier' could not be established.

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