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
- Russia is stealthily threatening America with nuclear war
- This is what happens when Republicans actually enact their radical agenda
- 43 TV shows to watch in 2014
- 6 things the happiest families all have in common
- How I dug myself out of debt — and stayed that way
- The science of sex: 4 harsh truths about dating and mating
- The impossible promise at the heart of Scotland's campaign for independence
- Why you should stop believing in evolution
- 13 Urban Outfitters controversies
- If Scotland leaves the union, is Northern Ireland next?
Subscribe to the Week