A woman in Bangladesh has given birth to twins, just 26 days after becoming a mother to a baby boy. While this is obviously an extremely unusual event, the good news is that the new mother and all three of her babies are in good health.
Arifa Sultana delivered her first baby prematurely in February, and was rushed back to hospital on March 21 after complaining of stomach pains. Much to her and the doctors’ surprise, an ultrasound revealed that she had a second uterus and was still pregnant with twins, which were then delivered by an emergency Caesarean.
Gynecologist Sheila Poddar, who delivered the babies at the Ad-din Hospital, told BBC News that she had “never observed something like this before.”
Doctors now believe that Sultana has a condition called uterus didelphys, which affects around one in 2,000 women and can result in two uteruses, two cervixes and occasionally even two vaginas. Amazingly, eggs in both of her uteruses were fertilized at the same time, meaning that one baby was able to develop inside one of her wombs while the twins remained in the other.
While the condition is less rare than some may expect, it is thought that only around one in 50 million women becomes pregnant in both wombs at the same time. Obviously, the chances of having three babies at once as a result of this are incredibly small.
Uterus didelphys arises during embryonic development, when two tubes fuse together to form the uterus. Yet in some cases, these tubes remain separate, resulting in two independent uteruses. Most women with the condition are completely unaware that they have it and are likely to never experience any symptoms.
Generally, the condition only becomes apparent if it happens to be picked up on an ultrasound scan or during a pelvic exam. In Sultana’s case, the second uterus wasn’t spotted because she did not have an ultrasound during her pregnancy.
[H/T: BBC NEWS]