A 37-year-old woman in France got the shock of her life after she learned that she was unknowingly 23 weeks pregnant with a baby growing inside her bowel. According to a case study published in the New England Journal of Medicine, the woman sought medical treatment after 10 days of severe abdominal pain and worsening bloat. Medical experts conducted a scan and revealed that she was growing a “normally formed” fetus inside her abdominal cavity, which sits in between the stomach and the bowel.
In the study, the doctors explained that the woman was experiencing an abdominal ectopic pregnancy – when a fertilised egg implants outside of the uterus and instead in the abdominal cavity. This condition mostly results in the loss of the child, however, miraculously, doctors in France successfully delivered the baby at 29 weeks, and within three months, the mother and her newborn child were discharged from the hospital.
The doctor’s efforts were astounding, considering the potential danger to the mother as ectopic pregnancies can cause internal bleeding, tube rupture or shock. It can also result in fetus death. According to the New York Post, the chance of losing the baby in this case is as high as 90%. And those who do survive have a one in five chance of having birth defects or brain damage.
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In this case, the woman received medical attention in France, where doctors ensured that they waited until 29 weeks gestation to give the baby the highest possible chance of survival. Then utilising their skills, the experts made an incision in the woman’s abdomen before placing their parent’s baby in neonatal intensive care, in an incredibly successful delivery.
Meanwhile, this is not the first time doctors have found an embryo growing in an odd place. As per the Post, a doctor once took to social media to share a case report of a fetus growing in a woman’s liver. “I thought I had seen it all,” Dr Michael Narvey, of the Children’s Hospital Research Institute of Manitoba, said in the clip. “We see these sometimes in the abdomen but never in the liver. This is a first for me,” he added.