A woman became pregnant while she was pregnant, giving birth to rare twins conceived three weeks apart. The case occurred in England and the babies were born in September 2020.
As science indicates, when a woman becomes pregnant, her body initiates several biological processes that aim to prevent a simultaneous pregnancy, including the release of hormones to stop ovulation.
However, in rare cases, a pregnant woman can continue to ovulate or release an egg, and that egg can then be fertilized by the sperm and implanted in the uterus. This rare phenomenon is known as “superfetation”.
In this new case, the twins were conceived three weeks apart, according to the Good Morning America, an American program.
The mother, Rebecca Roberts, was 39 when she first became pregnant last year after trying to conceive for several years and taking fertility drugs.
At the 12th week of gestation, doctors discovered a second baby that was three weeks apart in size from the first. Because superfetation is so rare that doctors initially failed to explain the difference in size between the two babies.
After a more detailed analysis, the doctors diagnosed Roberts with superfetation and explained that the second baby might not survive.
Due to a growth problem of the youngest baby, and at 33 weeks of pregnancy, the doctors induced childbirth, which take place in September last year.
The story ended up having a happy ending, contrary to the doctors’ predictions.
The oldest twin, Noah, stayed in a neonatal intensive care unit (NICU) for three weeks, and Rosalie, the youngest baby, stayed for 95 days. However, both children are now at home and are healthy.
“The twins have an incredible bond, but their story, and when they are old enough to find out, it will make them feel even more special,” said Roberts.
According to the Live Science, it is not clear how many cases of superfetation occur per year, but many may go unnoticed due to the proximity of the age of the fetuses.
The best known cases of superfetation involve patients who have used assisted reproduction techniques, such as in vitro fertilization, according to the Healthline.
Still, the phenomenon is considered to be extremely rare.
Ana Isabel Moura, ZAP //