Mayo Clinic defines uterus didelphys (or "double uterus") as "a rare congenital abnormality" that "can increase the risk of miscarriage or premature birth."

By People
Updated: March 29, 2019
Photo: kjekol/Getty Images

A new mom got the surprise of her life when she gave birth to twins just 26 days after delivering her son.

Arifa Sultana welcomed a baby boy in late February. A few weeks later, the 20-year-old Bangladeshi woman "came to the hospital complaining of lower abdominal pain," Dr. Sheila Poddar, a gynecologist at Dhaka's Ad-Din Hospital, told CNN.

After Sultana underwent an ultrasound (a procedure she didn't have done during her first pregnancy), doctors found something remarkable: she had two uteruses-and the second contained twins.

She then welcomed a boy and a girl after Dr. Poddar performed a cesarean section. "All three children are safe and healthy. The mother is also fine," the doctor shared with CNN. (Related: Baby Boom! Houston Woman Gives Birth to Three Sets of Twins in 9 Minutes: "This Is Miraculous!")

Mayo Clinic defines the condition uterus didelphys (or "double uterus") as "a rare congenital abnormality" where the body doesn't behave the way it usually does as the uterus develops. Normally, the two small tubes that it begins as fuse together to create one large organ. (Related: Is There Really Such Thing As an Alpha Uterus?)

But sometimes, "the tubes don't join completely," and "instead, each one develops into a separate structure," Mayo explains. "Women who have a double uterus often have successful pregnancies. But the condition can increase the risk of miscarriage or premature birth." (Related: This Is the First Woman to Give Birth with an Ovary Frozen Before Puberty)

"It is not very common to have two uteruses," Dr. S.N. Basu, head of obstetrics and gynecology at New Delhi's Max Healthcare Hospital, told CNN. "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."

CNN reports that there is only a one-in-a-million chance of having uterus didelphys and delivering twins, according to the National Institutes of Health.

Dr. Basu explained to CNN, "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."

This story originally appeared on People.com by Jen Juneau.

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