Kate Hill from Brisbane, Australia gave birth to her twins at different times, an unusual medical condition the doctors confirmed to be ‘Superfetation’.
“Superfetation” is an unusual medical condition wherein there is the simultaneous occurrence of more than one stage of developing offspring. And it is referred to by others as ‘pregnant while getting pregnant’.
Kate and her husband Peter had only engaged in one unprotected sex, according to BBC report. The couple was struggling to conceive after Kate was diagnosed with polycystic ovarian syndrome in 2006, a hormonal condition that left her unable to ovulate. After going through hormone treatment, Kate gave birth to her twins whom she named Charlotte and Olivia, conceived ten days apart.
Dr. Brad Armstrong from Greenslopes Private Hospital in Brisbane and Kate’s obstetrician said ‘Superfetation’ is so rare he had to use Google to learn more about it.
“Superfetation is so rare that I could not find any literature in the medical review websites at all,” said Dr. Armstrong. It’s believed there are only 10 or 11 cases of superfetation in the world.
Charlotte and Olivia are now 10 months old but are very different in size and weight. Though they were born different times, they are still considered as twins. Professor Michael Permenzel, Royal Australian and New Zealand College of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists President said:
“Normally with twins, both eggs are released at the same time and conceived at the same time. But in Kate’s case, one egg appears to have been released 10 days later and the sperm survived in the female genital tract before fertilizing the other egg.”
“We do know that sperm can survive in the female genital tract for up to a week, but usually not for 10 days.”
Following Kate Hill’s unusual medical condition, doctors are now rewriting the Australian medical history in the process.
Photo Courtesy: Donnie Ray Jones/ Flickr