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Mayer, M.D. (1938). Pseudocyesis: By George Davis Bivin and M. Pauline Klinger (Principia Press, Inc., Bloomington, Indiana, 1937. Pp. 265.). Int. J. Psycho-Anal., 19:370-371.

(1938). International Journal of Psycho-Analysis, 19:370-371

Pseudocyesis: By George Davis Bivin and M. Pauline Klinger (Principia Press, Inc., Bloomington, Indiana, 1937. Pp. 265.)

Review by:
Max D. Mayer

It was the purpose of Dr. Bivin to collect all the reported cases of pseudocyesis and to publish a monograph upon this little known disease, in order to throw light upon an entire group of nervous disorders. After his death the research was continued and amplified by his assistant, Miss Klinger, and published as of joint authorship.

As presented the work consists of an analysis of 444 cases, of which 425 have been published previously.

In general, the symptomatology simulated pregnancy, with varying degrees of amenorrhoea, abdominal enlargement, breasts changes, including even milk secretion, nausea and the sensation of foetal movements. More or less typical labour pains were simulated in about one-third of the cases.

The authors differentiate between the condition of pseudo-pregnancy occasionally found in animals and human pseudocyesis. The book does not include any of the recent data which point so inevitably to the endocrinological determinants of the former condition. In the future any cases of pseudocyesis will have to be studied from this aspect as well as to correlate the psychogenic and hormonal factors, primary and secondary.

The volume includes a most complete bibliography, which makes it a valuable source book for later research.

In the experience of the reviewer, although the classical full-blown cases are rare, milder forms, or formes frustes, are not uncommon.

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