Two Uteruses, Two Babies: One Woman's Story
THURSDAY, Nov. 16, 2023 (Healthday News) -- The chances of a woman having two uteruses are rare, but the odds of becoming pregnant at the same time in each uterus are even more rare.
But one Alabama woman is experiencing just that.
Kelsey Hatcher was born with two uteruses, each with its own cervix -- known medically as uterine didelphys. She is expecting two baby girls, one in each uterus, with an official due date of Christmas Day, NBC News reported.
When Hatcher discovered her condition during her first ultrasound last spring, she said her husband was dubious when she told him the startling news.
“He said, 'You’re lying.' I said, 'No, I’m not,'” said Hatcher, who already has three children, ages 7, 4 and 2.
Only about 3 in 1,000 women are born with two uteruses, and the chances of being pregnant in both are at least 1 in a million, Dr. Richard Davis, a specialist in obstetrics and gynecology at the University of Alabama Hospital. Davis is consulting Hatcher through her pregnancy and has assisted with most of her ultrasounds.
"I've delivered several women that have a double uterus, and most of the time they have done well, but I've never delivered one with twins in each horn, for sure," Davis told NBC affiliate WVTM.
The babies, which are growing normally, come from separate eggs and won’t be identical, so Davis noted the term "fraternal twins" might be a more accurate way to describe them.
Because delivery will require more contingency plans and health professionals, Hatcher's pregnancy is considered high-risk. There is a strong possibility that each uterus will start contracting at different times, meaning the sisters could be born hours or days apart.
To shorten her recovery time, Hatcher plans for a natural birth, but there could still be complications regardless of the method she chooses, Davis explained.
“The C-section is a little more risky than usual, because you have to make an incision in each uterus,” Davis said. “That’s two incisions and more blood loss.”
For a vaginal delivery, concerns would be around ensuring that the babies remain safe during labor and have normal fetal heart rates, he added.
For now, Hatcher will need to get an ultrasound every week to monitor the conditions of her babies, David said.
Visit the Mayo Clinic for more on uterine didelphys.
SOURCE: NBC News