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April 28, 1951


Author Affiliations


Dr. Schopbach is now at Clifton Springs Sanitarium, Clifton Springs, N. Y.; From the Division of Endocrine and Cancer Research, Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology and Department of Psychiatry, Jefferson Medical College and Hospital, Philadelphia.

JAMA. 1951;145(17):1329-1335. doi:10.1001/jama.1951.02920350023005

On the basis of clinical observations, psychic disturbances have been recognized as an etiological factor in some cases of menstrual dysfunction and female sterility, apparently acting through mediation of the endocrine system.1 The lack of objective studies has led some to consider the need for more definite proof, especially in infertility cases.2 Pseudocyesis, a condition in which a woman firmly believes herself to be pregnant and in which develop many of the symptoms and signs of pregnancy, however, lends itself well to an evaluation of the relation of the psyche to the female sex-endocrine mechanism. Although 465 case reports of pseudocyesis may be found in the literature, they have been recorded chiefly as medical curiosities, with but few observations or studies that might shed light on the modus operandi of this interesting psychosomatic disturbance.3 The present report is an evaluation of the data obtained by gynecologic, endocrinologic