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Woman with two wombs gives birth twice, less than a month apart

A woman in Bangladesh who gave birth in February suddenly gave birth again in March— to two more babies. Arifa Sultana, 20, had a premature baby last month and 26 days later she was rushed to another hospital with stomach pain, the BBC reports. It was then that doctors realized she had second uterus, and was still pregnant with two other babies.

Sultana is from a rural village and delivered her first baby at the Khulna Medical College Hospital in the Khulna district. Less than a month later, she went to the Ad-din Hospital in Jessore because she had stomach pain. Dr. Sheila Poddar performed an emergency C-section, the doctor told the BBC. 

"When the patient came in we performed an ultrasound on her and found there were twin babies," Poddar said. "We were very shocked and surprised. I have never observed something like this before." Her twins were born healthy and discharged from the hospital four days later with no complications.

Sultana and her husband are "very poor," according to Dr. Poddar, and the woman had never had an ultrasound before. "She had no idea that she had two other babies," the doctor said. "We carried out a caesarean and she delivered twins, one male and female."

"The babies and her are all healthy. I am very, very happy that everything went well," Poddar said.

Dr. Christopher Ng of the GynaeMD Clinic in Singapore told the BBC that said having two uteruses is "not as rare as people think." It's a condition called uterus didelphys. "If you go for a scan beforehand, it would be very obvious to see two sets of uteruses. But obviously they are from a more rural area [and might not have access to ultrasound scanning]," Ng said.

As for how the two different pregnancies happened, Ng explained, "[It's likely that] three eggs ovulated and were fertilized at the same time during her fertile period which resulted in three embryos."

In 2012, a woman from the U.K. made headlines worldwide when she opened up about having uterus didelphys. Hazel Jones went on a British talk show to discuss her unique medical condition which left her with two separate uteruses, cervixes, and vaginas.

In another case in 2011, a set of fraternal twins born in Florida did not develop in the same uterus because their mother had uterus didelphys. Doctors put the odds of such a pregnancy at one in five million, according to a written statement released by Morton Plant Hospital in Clearwater, Florida, where the twins were delivered via C-section.

Many times, double uteruses may not affect a woman's sex life, pregnancies and deliveries, but in some cases the condition could cause infertility, miscarriage, premature birth, or kidney abnormalities, according to the Mayo Clinic.