A woman in India who has an unusual condition known as "uterus didelphys" has stunned doctors by giving birth to two healthy boys — one from each of her two uteruses. Each of Rinku Devi's two boys (who aren't technically twins) was conceived in a separate womb from two different fertilized eggs and, though the largest weighed only 4.4 pounds at birth, both are reportedly doing well. Some key facts:
How common is uterus didelphys?
It's exceedingly rare. Fewer than 100 women worldwide are known to have the condition. Though Devi, 28, had given birth to another baby four years ago, she didn't even find out that she had two uteruses or that such a thing was possible until her late July delivery. "I was already in labor pain...and quite scared," says Devi, as quoted by Metro.
How does a woman wind up with two uteruses?
In a female fetus, the uterus begins as two small tubes that typically join together to create a single womb. Sometimes, the tubes don't join completely and develop into separate cavities.
Was Devi's pregnancy or delivery complicated?
Not in this case. Devi and her doctor believed she was carrying two babies — which they assumed were twins — and she delivered her sons by Caesarian section. "When I understood the situation, I was a little taken aback," says Dr. Dipti Singh. "I had never handled such a case before." More typically, however, uterus didelphys does carry significant dangers.
What are the risks?
The chances of miscarriage, premature labor, and critically underweight newborns are high. In some cases, the babies can die. As for the mothers, they may suffer pelvic pain or repeated miscarriages. "I am happy to have survived through this," says Devi.
THE WEEK'S AUDIOPHILE PODCASTS: LISTEN SMARTER
- Here comes the Pentagon's newest space plane
- 43 TV shows to watch in 2014
- Extreme haunted houses: Inside Halloween's most terrifying new trend
- How did Rick Perry escape blame for the Texas Ebola outbreak?
- Did the media get Ferguson wrong?
- Keira Knightley on Laggies, relationships, and surviving your 20s
- 3 horrific inaccuracies in Homeland's depiction of Islamabad
- America's anti-feminist mega-corporations' toxic disregard for women must stop
- This week I learned the surprisingly dark origins of the Nobel Prize, and more
- The U.S. is about to sell weapons to Vietnam. That's bad news for China.
Subscribe to the Week