pregnant woman getting ultrasound
Ultrasound examination of a pregnant womanReuters

Jyoti Kumar, a 62-year-old woman from Central India, has reportedly had the world's longest ectopic pregnancy after a 38-year-old baby skeleton was removed from her abdomen at the NKP Salve Institute of Medical Sciences, Nagpur.

Kumar got pregnant at the age of 24, in 1978, and she was then informed by the doctors that it was an ectopic pregnancy. An ectopic pregnancy occurs when the embryo implants somewhere other than the uterus.

Kumar grew fearful on hearing that her baby was growing outside her womb and that there was little chance for the baby to survive.

Terrified of surgery, Kumar fled from the hospital and approached a small clinic. She found a temporary cure for the abdominal pains caused by the ectopic pregnancy. Kumar, assuming that there was no reason for her to worry, went on with her life.

38 years later, the now-62-year-old Kumar approached the NKP Salve Institute of Medical Sciences on experiencing constant stomach pains, and urinary problems with fever.

Dr. Mohammad Yunus Shah and his team of experts, who treated Kumar, revealed to her that she was still carrying her unborn child.

"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," Dr Shah told Daily Mail.

However, a CT scan revealed that the lump was made of hard, calcified matter and it was only after Kumar underwent a Magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) scan it was clarified that the mass was in fact a child's skeleton.

Dr. Shah and his team removed the mass containing a matured skeleton stuck densely between Kumar's uterus, intestines and bladder.

"The amniotic fluid that protects the foetus might have been absorbed and the soft tissues liquefied over time with only a bag of bones with some fluid remaining," said Dr. Shah.

Dr Shah believes that this could be the longest case of ectopic pregnancy on record at 38 years. His team reached the conclusion after a detailed research for medical literature on similar cases. The longest period they could find on record was that of a Belgian woman who had retained the remains of an ectopic pregnancy for 18 years.