"I had not even heard about such an incident before."
One month after having a son, Bangladeshi mother Arifa Sultana, aged 20, gave birth to twins.
She was just getting used to motherhood after having her first child in February 2019, but she was shocked when her waters broke 26 days later. Arifa was taken to a hospital in the Jessore District.
Doctors found that she had two children that were ready to be delivered. It was discovered that Arifa had a double uterus, a rare condition a woman may have from birth without realising.
However, experts have queried how two heartbeats had gone unnoticed.
Sheila Poddar, a gynaecologist who treated Arifa, said: “She didn’t realise she was still pregnant with the twins.
“Her waters broke again 26 days after the first baby was born and she rushed to us.”
Dr Poddar carried out an emergency caesarean at Khulna Medical College Hospital on Friday, March 22, 2019.
Arifa gave birth to a boy and girl who were healthy and had no complications.
Mrs Sultana and her husband, Sumon Biswas, returned home on Tuesday, March 26, 2019.
Dr Podder said that this was the first time she had experienced this incident.
She said: “It’s a rare incident. I have never seen such a case for the first time. I had not even heard about such an incident before.
“The first baby was born from one womb. The two babies born here are from the other womb.”
A double uterus is scientifically known as uterus didelphys and often has no symptoms. It is also present from birth.
Affected women can still have children but it may increase the chances of miscarriage or premature birth.
One in 3,000 women have the condition but the odds of carrying a baby in each at the same time is one in five million.
Dilip Roy, the Chief Government doctor in Jessore, said:
“I haven’t seen any case like this in my 30-year plus medical career.”
Dr Roy questioned the doctors for not detecting the second pregnancy. A routine pelvic exam could detect a double uterus.
Mrs Sultana said she was happy with three children but was not sure how she would raise them. She said:
“I don’t know how we will manage such a huge responsibility with this little amount.”
The family may not be rich but Mr Biswas is determined to give his children the best in life.
He said: “It was a miracle from Allah that all of my children are healthy. I will try my best to keep them happy.”