Just a few days after a Tunisian woman claimed she was pregnant with a record-breaking 12 babies, the 34-year-old has been exposed as a fraud, the U.K.’s Daily Telegraph reported Wednesday.
The woman, who has not yet been named, reportedly told doctors in her hometown of Gafsa that she was due to give birth to duodecaplets later this month. She said she conceived the babies following fertility treatments, after suffering a number of miscarriages.
But an investigation by the Tunisian Health Ministry later revealed that she has "psychological problems and is unlikely even to be pregnant," the Telegraph reported.
"Our staff interviewed her at length, but even her pregnancy appears to be in her imagination," a government spokesman said. "She's claiming to be nine months pregnant with six boys and six girls, but there's absolutely nothing about her appearance which indicates this."
The official said the woman has also refused to undergo a medical examination and is now reportedly in hiding.
While experts confirmed the extraordinary pregnancy was possible, they said it carried "colossal" risks.
In an interview Tuesday, Dr. Manny Alvarez, managing health editor of FOXNews.com, who has seen a woman pregnant with nine babies, said the likelihood of a woman carrying 12 babies to term is very slim.
"When you get to a pregnancy with that many multiples, often some of them spontaneously die," Alvarez said. "Anything more than five babies becomes a very high-risk pregnancy. The rates of premature labor for multiples are astronomical."
Nadya Suleman of Bellflower, Calif., currently holds the record for the longest-living octuplets in history.