A 20-year-old Bangladeshi woman gave birth to twins -- 26 days after giving birth to her first child. 'We were shocked'.
Arifa Sultana gave birth to a boy in late February, according to Dr. Sheila Poddar, a gynecologist at Ad-Din hospital in Dhaka. After a normal delivery, the mother and baby were released from a different Dhaka hospital. Ms Sultana, who is from a rural village, delivered her first baby at the Khulna Medical College Hospital in Khulna district.
Just 26 days later, she complained of stomach pain and was rushed to the Ad-din Hospital in Jessore district on 21 March, Dr Sheila Poddar, the gynaecologist who performed the Caesarean told the media. Some media reports put the date as 22 March.
"She came to the hospital complaining of lower abdominal pain,When the patient came in we performed an ultrasound on her and found there were twin babies," Dr Poddar said.
"We were very shocked and surprised. I have never observed something like this before." She added, it was the first time she had experienced this rare incident.
She said: 'It's a rare incident. I have seen such a case for the first time. I had not even heard about such incident before.
'The first baby was born from one womb. The two babies born here are from the other womb.'
A double uterus, uterus didelphys, often causes no symptoms, according to Mayo Clinic, and is present from birth.
Women who have a double uterus can still successfully have children but it could increase the chances of miscarriage or premature birth.
The condition affects about one in 3,000 women. However, the odds of carrying a baby in each at the same time are around one in five million.
Dilip Roy, chief government doctor in Jessore, was shocked to hear of the woman's story.
He said: 'I haven't seen any case like this in my 30-year plus medical career.'
Dr Roy questioned the actions of doctors at Khulna Medical College Hospital for not detecting the second pregnancy.
A double uterus may be diagnosed during a routine pelvic exam if a doctor suspects there are abnormalities.
In 2006 a British woman with a double uterus gave birth to healthy triplets in the first known case of its kind.
Hannah Kersey, of Northam, Devon, gave birth to a pair of identical twins from an egg that had implanted in one womb and then split, and also to a baby from a single egg in the other womb.
It is unclear why she might have chosen to go to a different hospital. According to Dr Poddar, Ms Sultana and her husband are "very poor" and she had "never had an ultrasound before", in the run up to her first delivery.
“It is not very common to have two uteruses. When the uterus develops, it comes from two tubes, and those tubes fuse together.
“For some women, the fusion does not occur, and the dividing wall does not dissolve,” said S.N. Basu, head of obstetrics and gynecology at Max Healthcare hospital in New Delhi.
A uterus didelphys is a rare congenital abnormality, and the occurrence of twin gestation has an overall incidence rate of 1 in a million, according to the National Institutes of Health.
For it not to be discovered before the birth is even less common.
“From rural areas, people don’t know what is wrong with them. They don’t know how many children they are pregnant with and sometimes whether they are pregnant also,” Mr Basu said.
Mr Poddar was able to quickly perform a C-section to deliver twins: a boy and a girl. “All three children are safe and healthy,” Mr Poddar said. “The mother is also fine.”
"She had no idea that she had two other babies," said Dr Poddar. "We carried out a caesarean and she delivered twins, one male and female."
The 20-year-old and her newborns were discharged on 25 March after four days in hospital.
"The babies and her are all healthy. I am very, very happy that everything went well," Dr Poddar said.