Ovarian baby "miracle" birth

Wednesday, June 4, 2008

Doctors performing a Caesarian delivery in a Darwin, Australia hospital were stunned to discover a rare ovarian ectopic pregnancy. According to Robin Cahill, general manager of the Darwin Private Hospital, ovarian pregnancies occur in only 1 in every 40,000 fertilisations.

Darwin Private Hospital
Image: Robert Myers.

An ectopic pregnancy occurs when a fertilised egg implants in a woman's body in a location other than the uterus. The most common place for an ectopic pregnancy to occur is the Fallopian tubes, accounting for roughly 95% of all ectopic pregnancies. Ectopic pregnancies are generally discovered early, especially as they tend to cause bleeding in the mother, and tend to miscarry or be terminated due to the health risks they pose.

The mother, Meera Thangarajah, however, suffered no complications during her pregnancy, and an ultrasound performed mid-way through the pregnancy did not discover the complication. The hospital's obstetrician Andrew Miller says that having an ovarian pregnancy survive to full-term is "unheard of". The British Royal College of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists agrees, with a representative saying the odds of a successful ovarian pregnancy are "no more than one in a million", taking into account both the difficulty of bringing such a pregnancy to term and the tendency for the pregnancy to be terminated when it is discovered early.

The baby, a girl, was named Durga, a Hindu name meaning "goddess", and weighed 6 pounds 3 ounces (2.8 kg). The father, Ravi Thangarajah, says that doctors told him he was "one of the luckiest men in the world".