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Concurrent Pregnancies (Multiple Wombs; Superfetation)


Gone But Not Forgotten
Aug 18, 2002
Woman with 2 wombs gives birth to triplets


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.

http://cnews.canoe.ca/CNEWS/WeirdNews/2 ... 99-ap.html
Born on the same day to the same mother - but they're NOT twins
Last updated at 00:50am on 29th September 2007

To everyone who sees them, five-month-old Ame and Lia look like twins. And they were indeed born to the same mother just minutes apart.

Amazingly, however, the sisters are not twins.

They were conceived three weeks apart thanks to a million-to-one medical rarity.

When doctors had to perform an emergency caesarean delivery on their mother Amelia Spence, Ame was born at 29 weeks and Lia at 32.

Miss Spence, 29, said: "It is hard to get our heads around the fact that I was pregnant with two babies at the same time and they aren't twins.

"When I explain it to people they get very confused."

Even more amazingly, Miss Spence became pregnant twice in three weeks while she was taking the contraceptive pill.

She said: "For that to happen twice in three weeks is just unbelievable."

Doctors have explained that hers is a rare case of superfetation, where the body carries on releasing more eggs for fertilisation after a pregnancy has already occurred.

Miss Spence, who lives in Glasgow with partner George Herrity, 33, a tyre fitter, and her two other children, Jordan, nine, and eight-yearold Declan, got the bombshell news when she went for her 12-week scan at the Royal Alexandra Hospital in Paisley.

The doctors could see there were two foetuses but they were at different stages of development.

Miss Spence said: "We looked at the screen and the doctor pointed out that one foetus still looked like a blob, whereas the other had four visible limbs. It was such a marked difference.

"It was really strange to see. The doctor said that he had never seen it before, but had only read about it in textbooks.

"One foetus was 12 weeks old, whilst they said the other was three weeks behind, at nine weeks old. I had become pregnant twice on two separate occasions.

"The doctors couldn't believe it, either. They told us there was a million-to-one chance of it happening.

"There were concerns for the smaller baby but at the next scan she was still alive.

Miss Spence said: "It was very emotional when the doctors said that the smaller baby was still growing. She was such a little fighter."

The mother had to be scanned every week to check that both babies were still growing.

She said: "It was nerve-racking going to the hospital each week and I just kept praying they would both be all right. My stomach got so big that towards the end of my pregnancy, I could hardly move."

Doctors had to carry out an emergency caesarean to deliver the babies because they were both lying awkwardly in the womb.

Ame, the younger baby, arrived first weighing 4lb 13oz. Her sister Lia was much bigger at 6lb 11oz.

Miss Spence said: "Ame looked so tiny next to her bigger sister, but she had proved herself to be such a fighter."

Both the sisters were healthy and after five days in hospital, they were allowed home.

Miss Spence said: "We had so many wellwishers coming to see the girls when they were born. Everyone wanted to see our million-to-one girls.

"Now they're doing really well. They both have great appetites and Ame is catching up with her big sister.

"I still can't quite believe how it all happened, but I'm just so glad that both the girls were born healthy, especially after doctors didn't think that Ame was going to survive.

"One day we will tell them about their unusual start to life - and we will have to explain to them why they both were born on the same day but aren't twins."

A phenomenon at the double

The girls were conceived through a process known as superfetation, the term used to describe the formation of a foetus whilst another foetus is already present in the uterus.

This occurs when eggs from two separate menstrual cycles are released, as opposed to normal non-identical twins where more than one egg is released in a single cycle.

Although common in animals it is rare in humans, but it can result in a twin or multiple pregnancy. It is diagnosed when the foetuses show a marked different in development.

The girls are technically not twins. Identical twins occur when one egg splits into two and non-identical, or fraternal, twins occur when two eggs are released and fertilised at the same time.

So even though Miss Spence's babies were born on the same day, they are not twins as they were conceived three weeks apart.

Scan reveals rare double pregnancy for American woman
Tood and Julia Grovenburg: expecting two babies, but not twins
Tim Reid in Washington

A woman who is expecting a baby has stunned doctors after a routine ultrasound visit revealed that she had become pregnant for a second time — a condition so rare that there only ten other recorded cases.

Julia Grovenburg, 31, had an appointment for an ultrasound check on an 11-week-old foetus, a baby girl she and her husband, Todd, have named Jillian — only to be told that she was carrying a separate baby, two weeks younger.

“We feel very blessed, but the truth is that I gagged, I started getting sick, that’s not a joke,” said Mrs Grovenburg, an American, of the moment that she found out she had become pregnant a second time. “My ultrasound [technician] Susan was in total, utter shock. My husband was laughing.”

Unlike twins, which are conceived at the same time, Mrs Grovenburg has two foetuses because of a process known as “superfetation”, where embryos are conceived at different times.

The second foetus is male, and the couple have called him Hudson. Jillian’s due date is December 24 and her brother’s is January 10. Doctors have warned, however, that both babies will probably be delivered at the same time, in early December.

“We tried for three years to have kids, and nothing ever happened,” said Mrs Grovenburg, from Arkansas. “We even refused to do in vitro or fertility drugs because we didn’t want multiples. I guess God was having the last laugh.” ;)

Dr Karen Boyle, of the Greater Baltimore Medical Centre, told ABC News that superfetation was extremely rare. “There is no prevalence or incidence in the literature. I could only find about ten reported cases,” she said.


http://www.timesonline.co.uk/tol/news/w ... 849180.ece
Woman with TWO wombs falls pregnant with babies who are not twins due a week apart
By Paul Thompson
Last updated at 12:59 AM on 17th July 2010

A woman is pregnant with two babies who were conceived almost a week apart.
Angie Cromar has been told she is expecting a boy and a girl.
But they are not twins because their 34-year-old mother has a rare medical condition which means she has two wombs.

The condition, known as uterus didelphys, affects only one in five million women.
But fewer than 100 women worldwide are known to have become pregnant after conceiving at different times.

Mrs Cromar, who has three children under eight, was aware that she had more than one uterus.
But she and her husband Joel were still shocked when her doctors told her about the double pregnancy.
'It was exciting,' said Mrs Cromar, who lives in the U.S..
'Joel didn't believe me for a little while, though,' she said.

The delivery and labour nurse said she was told at the first ultrasound that one baby was five weeks and a day old and the other six weeks and a day.

Mrs Cromar from Murray, Utah, later revealed on her Facebook page that she was expecting a boy and a girl.
She wrote: 'It''s a BOY!!!!!! and it's a GIRL!!!!!!!! Just found out that we are having both! I was looking forward to getting rid of some baby clothes, but I guess we still need them all!'
She added that the babies were due in the autumn.

She and her husband, 33, already have two boys, Alex, eight, and Luke, four, and a daughter of two, Sammy.

As a maternity ward nurse at the hospital where her babies will be delivered later this year she is aware of the dangers of a double pregnancy.

Doctors have warned that uterus didelphys presents a risk of premature labour and low birthweight.

'I'm a little nervous, just because I know what can happen, but I'm really excited,' she said.
'It's pretty rare. We are pretty thankful, pretty happy.'

Her doctor Steve Terry said he was surprised when the ultrasound revealed the double pregnancy.
He said research had revealed that there were fewer than 100 women worldwide who are reportedly in the same condition.
'She is in a small club,' he added.

Mrs Cromar is a nurse in the maternity unit at the Cottonwood hospital in Murray, near Salt Lake City. She has been told the babies, who are now at 20 weeks, are developing normally.

She said the condition had not caused any problems in her previous pregnancies.

However medical experts said the condition puts her in the high-risk category. The babies' development will be closely monitored and it is likely she will be offered the choice of a caesarean delivery.

According to U.S. medical records, in 1981 a woman with uterus didelphys became pregnant with triplets, two in her left uterus, one in the right.

The babies on the left were delivered on the same day, two hours apart while the baby on the right was delivered 72 days later.

Last year Julia Grovenburg, again from the U.S., conceived while she was already pregnant, an example of a rare condition in women with a single uterus called superfetation.

Read more: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/worldne ... z0u1QfJwSD
I remember in the tv-series Prey, one of the traits of the people who were meant to be the next step in human evolution was multiple wombs.
Wasn't this a premise in Cronenburg's Deadringers too?

It's a long time since i've seen it, and found it dull as dishwater, but i'm sure the twin gynaecologists in that were fixated on a woman with this condition. about the only bit of the movie i remember, apart from the rubber hose and forcepts bondage, is the bit where one of them gets paranoid and tries to freak a gay guy who he's mistaken for her partner by telling him "you're f*cking a mutant"
Here's another case of twins being born several weeks apart owing to their having developed in the mother's two wombs. As it turns out, the mother's multi-womb condition isn't extraordinarily rare.
Woman Gives Birth to Twins — 11 Weeks Apart

When Lilliya Konovalova became pregnant with twins, she didn't expect to give birth twice. But the 29-year-old, who lives in Northern Kazakhstan, was in the hospital two times — once in May, for the birth of her daughter, and again earlier this month, for the birth of her son.

"My son was in no rush to come out into the world," Konovalova said, as reported by the Daily Mail.

The twins were born 11 weeks apart. Such a long interval between twins is rare, but not unheard of. (The world record — twins born 87 days apart — was set in 2012). But it's not just the separate birthdays that set these twins apart — it's the fact that each one gestated in a separate womb.

That's because Konovalova has a condition called uterus didelphys, which essentially means that she has a double uterus. ...

Uterus didelphys is surprisingly common — one in 2,000 women have it. The conditions occur early in development, when the two tubes that all female fetuses have, which normally fuse into one uterus, instead develop into two separate wombs. But the odds of a pregnancy like Konovalova's, where each baby develops in its own womb, are miniscule — just one in 50 million, Scientific American reported. (For a woman with uterus didelphys, the odds of conceiving one twin in each are 1 in 25,000).

Similar pregnancies have been documented. In 2009, a woman in Michigan with uterus didelphys delivered two baby girls, one from each side. In 2014, a woman in the United Kingdom with the same condition gave birth to triplets, two of whom shared a uterus, and one of which had its own.

But in none of these documented cases were the babies born on separate occasions. That means Konovalova's pregnancy was rare on two counts. ...

Konovalova and her twins are both healthy, and getting ready to leave the hospital as a family.

FULL STORY: https://www.livescience.com/twins-born-months-apart.html
Here's a more recent case from the UK.
Woman gives birth to twins conceived three weeks apart

A woman in England became pregnant while already pregnant, ultimately giving birth to rare twins conceived three weeks apart, according to recent news reports.

Typically, when a woman becomes pregnant, her body kick-starts several biological processes aimed at preventing a concurrent pregnancy, including releasing hormones to stop ovulation. But in rare instances, a pregnant woman could continue to ovulate, or release an egg, and that egg could then be fertilized by sperm and implanted in the uterus, Live Science previously reported. This rare phenomenon, in which two fertilized eggs are implanted in the uterus at different times, is known as "superfetation."

In this new case, the twins were conceived three weeks apart, according to Good Morning America. The mother, Rebecca Roberts, was 39 years old and became pregnant for the first time last year after trying to conceive for several years and taking fertility medication. ...

The doctors diagnosed Roberts with superfetation and told her that the younger baby might not survive. When Roberts was 33 weeks pregnant, last September, the doctors induced labor because the younger twin, Rosalie, stopped growing properly due to a problem with the umbilical cord.

The older twin, Noah, stayed in a neonatal intensive care unit (NICU) for three weeks, and Rosalie stayed for 95 days. Both infants are now home and healthy. ...

It's not clear how many cases of superfetation occur; many cases may go undetected because the fetuses are so close in age, and thus size, that they're thought to be ordinary twins, according to the Live Science report. Most known cases of superfetation involve patients who used assisted reproductive techniques such as in vitro fertilization ...

FULL STORY: https://www.livescience.com/rare-twins-conceived-three-weeks-apart.html
These Texas twins born in October 2021 were the result of superfetation.
Texas woman gives birth to rare set of twins conceived one week apart. How is this possible?

In an extremely rare case, a Texas woman became pregnant while already pregnant and ultimately gave birth to twins who had been conceived roughly one week apart, according to news reports.

The 30-year-old woman, named Cara Winhold, initially learned she was pregnant in March 2021, and when she received an ultrasound five weeks later, there appeared to be just one embryo developing in her uterus, the Daily Mail reported (opens in new tab). However, since Winhold had a history of miscarriages, her doctor asked that she come in for another scan just two weeks later, to check that the pregnancy was still progressing well. At that follow-up, not one, but two implanted embryos popped up on the scan.

"On the very first scan, there was a sac with one baby and then when I went back there was a really tiny little sac in the corner that had another baby in it," Winhold told the Daily Mail. "You could see baby A was more developed, whereas the other one was like a tiny dot." ...

Few cases of superfetation are described in the medical literature, but of those reported, most have occurred in women undergoing fertility treatments, such as in vitro fertilization (IVF) ...

In Winhold's case, she had not undergone any fertility treatments ... Such cases are considered exceptionally rare, in part, because three unlikely events must happen simultaneously ...

First, an ovary must release another egg, or ovum; this typically doesn't occur because, at the start of pregnancy, the body releases hormones to halt ovulation. Second, that egg must be fertilized by a sperm cell; this is improbable because mucus builds up in the cervical canal in early pregnancy, forming a "plug" that blocks the passage of sperm. And finally, the fertilized egg must implant in the uterus. With one embryo already implanted and developing, there may not be much room for a second. ...
FULL STORY: https://www.livescience.com/rare-case-superfetation-texas
Fraternal twins, but not the usual type!

A US woman with a rare double uterus has given birth twice in two days - after a "one in a million" pregnancy and a total of 20 hours in labour.

Kelsey Hatcher, 32, delivered one daughter on Tuesday, and a second on Wednesday, at the University of Alabama at Birmingham (UAB) Hospital.

Announcing the arrival of her "miracle babies" on social media, Ms Hatcher hailed the medics as "incredible".

The girls are described as fraternal twins - with rare separate birthdays. Ms Hatcher said the family was now back at home and could "enjoy the holidays". She had previously expected a Christmas due date.

The mother was told at age 17 she had a double uterus (uterus didelphys) - which the UAB described as a rare congenital anomaly affecting 0.3% of women. And the odds of becoming pregnant in both uteri - a dicavitary pregnancy - were even slimmer, at "one in a million", according to the UAB.

Reported cases worldwide are extremely rare. In 2019, a doctor in Bangladesh told the BBC a woman had given birth to twins almost a month after delivering a premature baby in her other uterus.