Superfetation: Getting Pregnant While Already Carrying A Child
November 29, 2017 18:22 By Fabiosa
Although it's incredibly rare, an already-pregnant woman can become pregnant again. It seems impossible, but surprisingly, it isn't.
The condition is known as superfetation, and there are only 10 known cases in the entire world.
“There are no negative effects for the babies aside from the common risks during any pregnancy," said Dr. Suvir Venkataraman, from the Harley Street fertility clinic.
This strange process can also occur in animals, including rodents, rabbits, panthers, primates, fish, and kangaroos.
Superfetation has been more common in Australia, the last case being that of Kate Hill, who got pregnant twice in 10 days. This occurs because the fertilization of an egg manages to develop another embryo when one fetus is already present in the womb.
Normally, when a woman becomes pregnant, the ovaries stop producing more eggs inside the womb, but in cases of superfetation, the body generates another egg during this period.
“The first fertilized embryo is introduced, followed by the second a few days later,” said Dr. Venkataraman.
Both fetuses conceived will have a different gestational age as well as different birth dates. In Hill's case, the weight and size of her daughter was different to that of her other baby.
This phenomenon was studied by Aristotle, when he observed women having babies just days after their first birth. He noticed the variation in size and shape. The youngest were smaller.
Some people call these babies 'little miracles'.
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