A 39-year-old woman from Russia has defied the odds after being told for years that she would never be able to have children due to a rare uterine condition.
Most women are born with a pear-shaped uterus, but this condition - called a bicornuate uterus - causes the organ to form into a heart shape. It affects approximately 1 in 1,000 women and while conception typically isn't an issue, it can cause complications in pregnancy and delivery - and even carry a higher risk of miscarriage for some women. Usually, doctors recommend c-section deliveries for women with a bicornuate uterus.
Last week, the Moscow woman, whose identity has not been revealed, delivered a healthy set of twins, astonishing doctors across the country. Weighing seven and six pounds respectively, the boy and girl babies - along with their mother - are reported to be doing well after their unusual delivery. There are only 12 other documented cases in medical literature of twins being born to mothers with the same condition, however, thanks to social media and the internet, these stories seem to be emerging more frequently. In May of this year, a 31-year-old UK woman gave birth to twins at 34 weeks after discovering that she too, had a bicornuate uterus at her dating scan.
"We found out at the 20-week scan and ever since people have been saying how rare it was," said mom Jennifer Ashwood.
This latest birth went viral on Instagram after Russian doctors (with the mother's permission) shared a raw photo of the newborn twins lying next to the unusually-shaped womb that carried them for nearly nine months. The daily newspaper that first broke the story reported that doctors were stunned by the birth, and when they "took the uterus out, they could not believe their eyes. It was the perfect shape of a heart."
Creator of the popular HBO series Girls and controversial actress Lena Dunham made headlines earlier this year when she shared that she too, had a heart-shaped uterus. She frequently - and frankly - spoke about her difficult battle with endometriosis, a painful disorder in which tissue that normally lines the inside of your uterus grows on the outside. Dunham suffered from a host of other complications as well that left her often bedridden and hospitalized. Undergoing a hysterectomy a short while later, Dunham briefly spoke about the discovery of a bicornuate uterus post-procedure.
"The only beautiful detail is that the organ - which is meant to be shaped like a light bulb -was shaped like a heart,” she wrote in the March 2018 issue of Vogue.