Is It Possible To Get Pregnant While Being Pregnant

By Subodini Menon

Pregnancy is a game of chances. Some women try hard to have a baby, while others have one despite taking adequate precaution. The reason behind this logic-defying thing of luck is that every woman has a different level of fertility.

Many a times, some pregnancies even tend to go against nature and the way that the bodies are meant to work. When a woman gets pregnant, the body takes some steps to make sure that the pregnancy is safe by preventing further pregnancies.

Is It Possible To Get Pregnant While Being Pregnant

It releases hormones that are made to help the foetus thrive, while blocking the fertility by preventing ovulation.

In some women, something goes wrong (or right) and the body continues to ovulate, despite being pregnant already. If the woman has sex and the newly released egg meets the sperm, a new baby begins to form.

There are more than one ways that you can get pregnant when you already are pregnant. We shall discuss them and more in today's article. Read on to know more.

• Though Very Rare, You Can Get Pregnant While Already Pregnant

It is the law of nature - egg meets sperm to make a baby. It is a given that pregnancy makes sure that the menstrual cycle comes to a stop. If the body somehow bypasses this rule and continues to ovulate, an egg is released. If the second egg is fertilized too, the woman will become pregnant with two babies at the same time.

• The Different Ways That Can Lead To Pregnancy While Being Already Pregnant

There are two ways that a woman can get pregnant with a second foetus when already pregnant.

Superfetation: It is the most common way by which a pregnant woman becomes pregnant again. It is when a few weeks into the first pregnancy, a second egg is released. When this egg is fertilized and leads to a second pregnancy, it is known as superfetation.

Superfecundation: Superfecundation is when two eggs are released simultaneously. One of them gets fertilized first and the second egg gets fertilized at a later point in time. This causes the woman to harbour foetus of two different gestational ages.

• Heteropaternal Superfecundation

Two eggs are released. One egg is fertilized by one man and the other egg is fertilized by another at a different time. When this happens, the woman becomes pregnant with another baby when already pregnant. Only this time, the babies will have a different father, but will share the womb at the same time. Such a case is known as heteropaternal superfecundation.

• Your Twins Might Not Really Be Twins

Many a times, a woman gets pregnant with twins; but in reality, they are not a set of twins. They are babies that are conceived at completely different times, making them a misdiagnosed case of superfetation or superfecundation. It becomes evident when the babies are developmentally very different when in the uterus.

• When The Second Pregnancy Happens More Than 10 Days From The First Pregnancy

The man and woman make love. The egg meets the sperm and the woman becomes pregnant. But some of the leftover sperms hang around instead of dying. The woman then releases egg again, despite being pregnant. This time, the egg is fertilized from the sex the woman had more than 10 days ago, making her pregnant when she is already pregnant. This happens though the chances of it happening are very very low.

• The Chances Of Getting Pregnant While Already Pregnant Are Very Slim, To Say The Least

In nature, pregnancy when already pregnant is seen frequently in animals. But, in humans, it is very rare. A human body is made to block any further pregnancy when already pregnant. A lot of things need to fall into place for this to happen.

For instance, the release of an egg when already pregnant is rare. When it happens, it needs to come into contact with a sperm. This has a window of 5 to 6 days after the egg is released. It is also very hard for the sperm to pass through the mucus plug that forms at the cervix when a woman is pregnant.

After all, this, if an egg still gets fertilized, the hormones released during the pregnancy make it impossible for the egg to be implanted in the lining of the uterus.

• The Timing Of Birth

Like in most multiple birth cases, the two babies are birthed at the same time. It will be very obvious that the second baby is premature or could have a couple of weeks more in the womb.

In the earlier days, it was impossible to determine if the two babies are twins or if it is a case of superfetation. But today, an ultrasound scan can help determine superfetation cases. If the second baby has a due date that is further along as that of its sibling, the babies are birthed via a c-section. The first baby is removed and the second baby is let to stay in the womb until it is healthy enough to be birthed.

• The Risk Of Having A Baby Who Was Conceived When Already Pregnant

Babies who do not spend adequate time in the womb will have health problems. The same is the case of the baby who was conceived after the mother was already pregnant. Chances are that the baby will be born prematurely. They will have to stay in the hospital for a longer time when compared to their sibling. Though most premature babies go on to have normal and healthy lives, some may have to suffer from lifelong issues like anaemia, infections and jaundice.

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    Read more about: pregnant ovulation
    Story first published: Wednesday, May 23, 2018, 13:30 [IST]
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