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Tuesday, 18 December, 2001, 14:19 GMT
Twice pregnant woman 'gives birth'
Flavia Tarquini and husband Riccardo
Flavia Tarquini and husband Riccardo
An Italian woman who says she became pregnant for a second time while still carrying her first child has given birth to a daughter, say press reports.

Flavia Tarquini, 20, claims to have conceived triplets three months after becoming pregnant.

She is reported to have given birth at a private clinic in Rome on Saturday, and is expected to return to the same clinic to give birth to another girl and two boys in March.

Mrs Tarquini may be the first woman ever to be pregnant continuously for 12 months.

A condition known as superfetation makes it possible to conceive for a second time when pregnant.

It is thought that there have only been 25 cases in recorded history, and in most cases the interval between the two fertilisations has been just a few days.

In normal circumstances pregnancy stops the usual monthly cycle of ovulation.

But superfecundation allows ovulation to continue after a woman has become pregnant, allowing her to conceive for a second time.


There has been speculation that Mrs Tarquini's double pregnancy, which was announced on Italian state television nearly six months ago, may have been invented.

But this has been vigorously denied by the family, which has also denied speculation that the double pregnancy may have been the result of fertility treatment.

Mrs Tarquini's father Giuseppe D'Angelo has been quoted as saying: "The baby is fine, and so is my daughter.

"You can rest assured, soon the others will be coming into the world."

Mrs Tarquini has not yet spoken about the birth of her daughter, who she has called Denise.

But when she appeared on television, she described her shock at finding out she was pregnant for a second time.

She said: "When I was at the sixth month of my pregnancy and went to see the doctor for the usual tests and scans, he noticed that, apart from Denise, there were another three babies.

"I didn't believe it at first. I remember asking the doctor to make sure because I just couldn't understand how it was possible.

"The difficult thing is not knowing what is going to happen after Denise is born. After that it is all suppositions and theories."

The BBC's David Willey
"She is expecting to return to the same clinic"
London Fertility Clinic Director, Professor Craft
"It is a surprise!"
See also:

12 Nov 01 | Health
Woman pregnant twice
26 Oct 01 | Health
Sex warning for IVF couples
27 Feb 01 | Health
Human ovaries 'grown in mice'
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