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6 Odd Pregnancy Conditions You May Not Know About
  • Photo from growingyourbaby.com

    Getting pregnant is a miracle. The changes that occur in a woman's body to accommodate a growing life inside of her is in itself a phenomenon. It's amazing how our bodies can create life and give birth to a little human being

    Of course, science has delved into it, explaining the symptoms, changes in the body, and what not. Because of these studies that we are able to see what goes on in the womb week by week. Still, there are a lot more about pregnant that has not yet been fully explored. 

    Each pregnancy is different and on rare occasions, we hear about strange but true pregnancy conditions. Having twins or triplets is one, or fraternal twins. Another is ectopic pregnancy where the embryo implants in the fallopian tube instead of the uterus. There are other weirder conditions that you may now know about. Here are some of them:

    1. The phantom pregnancy
    This is a condition where you also get all the pregnancy symptoms: you missed your period, morning sickness, food cravings, and sometimes you even grow a baby bump, feel baby kicks, and begin to lactate. But you're not pregnant. There have been cases wherein the "pregnant woman" experiences labor pains but there is really no baby to give birth to. Phantom pregnancies, also known as pseudocyesis, occurs approximately once every 250 pregnancies. Having an ultrasound is the only surefire way to confirm if you are indeed pregnant.

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    2. The blighted ovum
    Some miscarriages happen even before the woman knows that she's expecting—and then there are times when a woman thinks she's pregnant but really, she's not. Pregnancy hormones are there and so a pregnancy test will turn out positive, and a placenta will begin to develop. Having a blighted ovum, is defined as having a gestational sac sans an embryo—ergo, no heartbeat. After a while, pregnancy symptoms will subside and the body will expel the blighted ovum. Or your doctor could also do a dilation and curettage (D&C) to remove the placental tissues.


    3. The molar pregnancy

    A molar pregnancy is an abnormality of the placenta, caused by a problem when the egg and sperm join together at fertilization. The placenta will appear to have large and random grape-like cell clusters. Similar to having a blighted ovum, a woman with a molar pregnancy still get pregnancy symptoms, and would undergo a D&C, if needed. A partial molar pregnancy occurs when an egg is fertilized by two sperm or by one sperm whose chromosomes have duplicated. This results in an embryo with two sets of chromosomes and will not develop normally. A complete molar pregnancy occurs once in every 1,000 pregnancies, and really does not involve a developing embryo or baby.

    4. The pregnancy within a pregnancy
    Getting pregnant when you're already pregnant, or superfetation, happens when a pregnant woman's ovaries releases an egg a few weeks into the pregnancy. This is not the usual way to conceive twins, but as it happens, the second egg is also fertilized. It's considered rare because when a woman is pregnant, her reproductive system solely focuses on the growing embryo so she should not be ovulating anymore. Sometimes, an ultrasound can detect this. Oftentimes, the two babies are delivered at the same time, but their gestational age is not the same.

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    5. The vanishing twin syndrome
    It’s when an ultrasound had confirmed that you are expecting twins but as the pregnancy progresses, one baby vanishes. Theories that attempt to explain this are that the “lost” baby may have chromosomal abnormalities or had implantation issues. The disappearing act usually occurs in the first trimester; the remnants of the vanishing twin are absorbed by the mother, and the other baby develops healthy. There are cases wherein the twin vanishes later in the pregnancy. Between 21 to 30 percent of women carrying multiples experience this, whether they're aware of it or not. 

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    6. The stone baby
    There was a 90-year-old Chilean woman who gave birth who delivered a 60-year-old baby—yes, it’s true. The decades-old baby that she’s been carrying more than half of her life, though, is not alive, but calcified stone. Lithopedion, defined as carrying a stone baby, occurs when pregnancy fails and the fetus calcifies while still in the mother’s body. Sometimes this is occurs when an ectopic pregnancy implants outside the fallopian tube. The implanted fetus dies but sometimes, because of its gestational age, it’s not reabsorbed in the body and thus, slowly turns to stone. This phenomenon usually occurs unnoticed, as calcification is the body’s way to protect the body from infection. 


    February 4, 2016. “Strange but True: Getting Pregnant when you’re already Pregnant!” (healthadvisorgroup.com)
    Pseudocyesis: The Phantom Pregnancy Phenomenon (hubpages.com)
    “What causes a blighted ovum?” (mayoclinic.org)
    Molar Pregnancy (pregnancycorner.com)
    Vanishing Twin Syndrome (americanpregnancy.org)
    The curious case of the stone baby (nbcnews.com

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