Doctors Tell Woman She's Been 'Pregnant' for 50 Years

woman holding positive pregnancy testOur bodies are so complex, and sometimes, a story pops up in the news that reminds us of just how bizarre some medical conditions can be. Take, for example, headlines out of Chile about a 90-something-year-old woman who just found how she has been carrying a fetus - - for the last 50-ish years!

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This woman, who has not been identified, suffered a fall and went to a hospital where an X-ray discovered she was carrying a lithopedion, or a calcified fetus, in her abdomen, according to the BBC. The fetus is said to weigh over four pounds and was likely around seven months along when it died.

And, if that isn’t crazy enough, the doctors are keeping the fetus in there. Due to the woman’s advanced age, surgery to remove it would be too risky, so this woman will be “pregnant” for the rest of her life.

Man, I thought I was overdue when my son missed his due date by a week!

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Lithopedion pregnancies are incredibly rare with less than 300 known cases in human history, and it isn’t uncommon for women to carry them for decades before they are discovered. There is at least one recorded case of a woman carrying five subsequent pregnancies to term and having healthy deliveries, all without knowing she had a “stone baby” in her abdomen.

It is likely that lithopedion pregnancies will grow even rarer as modern ultrasound equipment use becomes more widespread. So, fear not, this isn’t something than any of us are really at risk for. This is good because, honestly, the thought of it is really kind of creepy.

Is this story gross or fascinating? Have you ever heard of a 'stone baby' before?



Image via iStock.com/jjshaw14

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