An Indian woman has most likely set the record for the longest ectopic pregnancy ever after doctors removed from her body the skeleton of a baby she had been carrying for a stunning 38 years.
Jyoti Kumar of Madhya Pradesh was 24 when she got pregnant in 1978. But when doctors told her that the baby she was carrying won’t survive ‘cos it was growing outside her womb, she fled the hospital for fear of surgery.
Of course, she experienced some abdominal pain due to the abnormal pregnancy, but she took some pain-relieving tablets and the pain stopped. So she thought she was healed and everything was A-OK.
But 38 years later, the now 62-year old Jyoti returned to the hospital complaining of severe stomach pain … and an MRI examination revealed a calcified baby skeleton stuck between her uterus, the intestines and bladder.
‘She said the pain had been consistent over the last two months and we found a lump on the lower right side of her abdomen, and feared it was cancer,’ said Dr Mohammad Yunus Shah, of the NKP Salve Institute of Medical Sciences in Nagpur, India. ‘It was only after the patient underwent an MRI that we could make out that the mass was in fact a child’s skeleton.’
After removing the stillborn child’s bones, baffled doctors searched through medical records to see whether a similar case has been encountered before. Turned out that Jyoti has experienced the longest ectopic pregnancy in the past 20 years … and probably the longest in modern human history. The record was previously held by a Belgian woman who carried a stillborn child for 18 years.
‘We believe this could be the longest case on record at 38 years,’ Shah said.
[Photo illustration via Jennifer Stano]