Woman with 2 wombs gives birth to triplets
By RAPHAEL G. SATTER
LONDON (AP) - A woman with two wombs has given birth to triplets, in what is believed to the first case of its kind, a hospital official said Friday.
Hannah Kersey, 23, gave birth to three girls in September, said Richard Dottle, a spokesman for Southmead Hospital in Bristol where the babies were born. The children spent nine weeks in the hospital.
The girls, identical twins delivered from one womb and a third fraternal sibling from the other, were delivered by Caesarean section seven weeks early, the British Broadcasting Corp. reported.
Kersey and her partner Mick Faulkner said they were "over the moon" at how healthy and happy the girls were.
"They are three lovely and incredible children, all with very different personalities," the BBC quoted Kersey as saying.
"There haven't been any similar account where three healthy babies are born of two wombs," said Yakoub Khalaf, a consulting gynecologist at Guy's and St. Thomas's Hospital. He said that multiple pregnancies tended to be risky, and that delivering triplets under such abnormal circumstances was even riskier.
Separate or partially joined wombs are uncommon, although not rare. About one woman in 1,000 has them, according to Khalaf.
The condition would have occurred before Kersey was born when the two sides of her uterus failed to completely merge. The condition mean the separate wombs tend to have a considerably smaller volume and their contractions are weaker, said Michael Heard, a consulting gynecologist at the Royal Hampshire County Hospital in Winchester.
Pregnancies are possible, although they tend to result in premature birth more than half the time. Heard said that in the case of a Caesarean two operations would have to be performed.
Simultaneous pregnancies in two separate wombs are almost unheard of, and Khalaf said he had identified only 70 cases over the past 50 years worldwide. The delivery of triplets from two wombs has never before been recorded.
"This lady was extremely lucky," said Khalaf.
Kersey was not immediately available for comment on Friday but the Southwest News Agency based in Filton, England, said it had bought the rights to her story. It would not disclose the amount.
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