Doctors removed a woman's dermoid cyst that she speculates may have contained the remains of her twin.
Since she was 13-years-old, Natashjja Heming suffered from unexplained pelvic pain, Little Things notes. She and her mother assumed it was endometriosis, for which she doctors prescribed her pain medication.
However, the pain persisted throughout high school and beyond. Finally, at age 22, an ultrasound revealed the cause of her pain: a peach-sized dermoid cyst on her ovary. While most ovarian cysts are common, this type is not.
“Most ovarian cysts develop as a result of the normal function of your menstrual cycle," according to the Mayo Clinic. "These are known as functional cysts. Other types of cysts are much less common...”
“...[Dermoid] cysts may contain tissue, such as hair, skin or teeth, because they form from cells that produce human eggs.”
Heming’s cyst contained hair, three teeth, spinal fluid and skin tissue, according to doctors, Little Things reports.
There is speculation that Heming’s ovarian dermoid cyst is the result of “Vanishing Twin Syndrome," or, “the identification of a multifetal gestation with subsequent disappearance of one or more fetuses," according to Medscape.
“In vanishing twin syndrome, there may be complete reabsorption of a fetus, formation of a fetus papyraceus ... or development of a subtle abnormality on the placenta such as a cyst, subchorionic fibrin, or amorphous material," Medscape claims.
Heming mused upon the possibility that her cyst contained the remains of her twin.
“I joke that I ate my twin in the womb, which is not a scientifically proven thing, but it has been mentioned,” Heming said, according to the Daily Mail.
Unlike a typical ovarian cyst, which goes away on its own, Heming’s dermoid cyst had to be surgically ruptured or else it would have continued to grow. Now, she is free of the painful cyst, which may or may not have contained the remains of her twin.
Heming graduated from the University of Wollongong in 2012 and holds a Bachelor’s degree in Communication and Media Studies. She's a senior events coordinator for The United States Studies Centre at the University of Syndey, Australia.
Sources: Little Things, Daily Mail, Mayo Clinic, Medscape, United States Studies Centre at the University of Sydney / Photo Credit: Facebook/Natashjja Heming via Little Things