The Shocking Sex-Ed Lie: You CAN Get Pregnant... While Pregnant
Sex-ed has become a standard in public education and begins as early as elementary school for most students. Of course, it's usually pretty age-appropriate. In fifth grade we got the basics down, boys and girls are different. Babies come from sex. Sanitary pads help manage a period. Lots of giggles.
As we grow older, sex-ed morphs quite a bit and ultimately over the few years we're learning about our bodies and where babies come from we learn a whole lot of other things. We were all calmed to know that we can't get pregnant from holding hands but were terrified to find out that technically, cooties are real. I mean, they're definitely not cute and have names like "Gonorrhea" that we never want to really hear about. (Also, whose idea was it to show us pictures?)
One thing I'm pretty sure almost all of us learned at some point in sex-ed was that a woman can't get pregnant if she's already pregnant. Sounds like it all adds up, right? Well, hold onto your socks because according to a recent report by The New York Times, it is possible to get pregnant while pregnant! What the what?!
I'm not sure a normal pee-test can help you determine double pregnancy.
Alright, hold up. If you're anything like me then right now you're dying to know more details on how (and why) this is possible.
It turns out this phenomenon is a condition called superfetation, and it's incredibly rare in humans. In fact, as far as we know only eleven cases have been reported to date. Ten of the eleven occurrences were reported in the European Journal of Obstetrics and Gynecology in 2008, the eleventh case happened to an Arkansas woman shortly after who became pregnant with a precious baby girl and then shortly after... she became pregnant yet again with a sweet baby boy. Can you imagine that shocker? Two weeks after she learned of her baby girl in 2009 she found out she was bonus pregnant with her son.
I'm pretty sure my only sense of comfort right now is knowing that the New York Times also made sure we all understand it IS incredible rare in humans and not to worry unless you're a cat. It's apparently pretty common in cats!
So... what the heck causes superfetation?!