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Eva Paris @paris_eva

We have all heard cases of women who became pregnant while pregnant, probably most of them false. But it could be. Superfetation is the successful fertilization of an ovum released during the evolution of pregnancy that results in the conception of twins of different gestational age.

That is, it is a rare case of twins. It is suggested that this could be due to the continuity of ovulation, despite having started the pregnancy. That is, the usual thing is that when conception occurs, the reproductive system of the woman stops producing ovules.

Only very rarely the menstrual cycle can be repeated and a new ovum is released while an embryo already exists. Even more rare is that this ovule is also fertilized: then superfection occurs when two embryos of different gestational ages come together .

It is a phenomenon remarkably more common among certain animal species (rodents, horses, sheep ...) than among humans. The majority of cases in people have been associated with hormonal treatments, ovarian stimulation, hyperstimulation syndrome or assisted fertilization.

Superstate cases

The first human superfetation report was published by Oskar Föderl in 1932. Since then, several cases have been recorded, a total of 11 confirmed by science.

In 2007, Ame and Lia Herrity, were conceived three weeks apart by their parents Amelia Spence and George Herrity in the United Kingdom. In May 2007, Harriet and Thomas Mullineux were also conceived three weeks apart by Charlotte and Matt Mullineux, in Benfleet, Essex (United Kingdom). And the same year we told you about other twin brothers conceived on a different date.

In 2009 we told you about another possible case of superfeiting, an American woman who had had a "double pregnancy" of this type.

Superfetation should not be confused with superfecundation, in which two or more ovules are fertilized at the same time, something much more usual.

We will continue to pay attention to these rare cases of superfeiting, when a woman becomes pregnant again during pregnancy, with siblings that will be born at the same time but having been conceived with weeks apart.

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