Have you ever wondered if it is possible for a woman to fall pregnant while being pregnant already?
The general assumption is that if you are pregnant, it is impossible to fall pregnant again within the same gestation period. But According to ABC7.com this was not the case for Jessica Allen.
Rare but possible
Jessica Allen, an American mother of two, chose to become a surrogate mother to a couple wanting to become parents. She already has two sons with her husband but offered her services because she felt that no couple should be deprived of the gift of a child.
What neither the doctors, prospective parents or the agency realised was that the twins Jessica was carrying were not identical twins. Immediately after they were born they were given to the couple without Jessica ever seeing them.
A month later she received a picture and could immediately see the boys didn’t look alike. One was also much lighter than the other. A DNA test was done and showed that one of the babies was in fact the son of Jessica and her husband Wardell.
After a very complicated process Jessica and her husband received custody of their son.
This unusual event occurs when a woman falls pregnant – and continues to ovulate. This enables her to become pregnant a second time. The phenomenon is known as superfetation, something that is very rare in humans, but not impossible. It is in fact so rare that doctors hardly ever advise abstinence during pregnancy.
Dr Chantal Stewart explains that doctors will only advise abstinence in the first trimester when there is a threatened miscarriage or a high risk pregnancy. The theory is that sperm may stimulate uterine contractions.
Influence of fertility treatments
It seems that in most known cases of superfetation the mothers were on fertility treatment. The reason could be the fact that the egg wasn’t released by ovulation, but rather inserted. Because ovulation never took place, an egg could still be released which could be fertilized despite the presence of another fertilized egg.
Dr Robert Atlas in his interview with TIME.com explains, that the hormonal changes that take place during pregnancy will under normal circumstances prevent further ovulation and thicken the lining of the uterus to preclude a second embryo from attaching.
See the mother who fell pregnant whilst being pregnant: