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False pregnancy, phantom pregnancy, or hysterical pregnancy—officially called pseudocyesis in humans and pseudopregnancy in other mammals—is the appearance of clinical or subclinical signs and symptoms associated with pregnancy when the organism is not actually pregnant. False pregnancy in humans is less common, and may sometimes be purely psychological.
It is generally believed that false pregnancy is caused by changes in the endocrine system of the body, leading to the secretion of hormones that cause physical changes similar to those during pregnancy. The symptoms of pseudocyesis are similar to the symptoms of true pregnancy and are often hard to distinguish from it. Such natural signs as amenorrhoea, morning sickness, tender breasts, and weight gain may all be present.