Differentiating Fraternal Twins and Identical Twins


fraternal twins (How to Have Twins)

Multiple births and twin births are already common occurrences nowadays and occur to many mothers already. There are even mothers who want to give birth to twins. But since there are two sets of twin births; the fraternal twins and identical twins, it is a must to be aware of the similarities and differences of these two sets in terms of several factors.

How to Have Twins : fraternal twins

  • Development. The development of these sets of twins itself vary obviously. Although both of these sets give birth to twin babies, fraternal twins come from two fertilized eggs while identical twins come from only one fertilized egg that split. While identical twins can only come from a single father, fraternal twins can come from different fathers. Identical also comes from only a single sac while fraternal comes from two.

  • Genetics. The genetic makeup of these two sets of twins also varies although they both mean two babies born at the same time. Identical twins usually share the same DNA because the babies were born in one fertilized egg. This is why they usually have identical or near identical traits such as same face and blood types although they can vary in fingerprints and other features. On the other hand, with fraternal twins, the twins also have the same DNA as siblings born from a single womb, but since they do not share the same sac and they are two separate fertilized eggs, they usually differ in looks, blood type, etc.

  • Gender. This is the very common difference between the identical and the fraternal twins. Usually, identical twins are also similar in gender. There are only very rare instances when identical twins do not share the same sex. However, in fraternal twins, the genders are usually male and female combinations although there are already a few instances wherein this set of twins come out similar in gender.

  • Cause. This refers to the difference when it comes to the occurrence of these sets of twins. For instance, identical twins are usually caused by splitting fertilized egg by which the reason remains a mystery. On the other hand, fraternal twins can be caused by heredity and fertility treatments. Therefore, the fraternal set is highly possible than the identical set.

  • Risks. Both sets of twins can be risky when it comes to pregnancy and giving birth since there are two of them inside the womb. However, when it comes to risks of abnormalities, identical twins are more at risk because they come from one splitting egg, which if incomplete could result to conjoined features, while the fraternal set comes from two different eggs, which means there is no risk of being conjoined together.

These sets of twins may be similar since they are both twin sets but they differ in several ways. Getting to know the difference and similarities between these two sets will help mothers better understand them and know their chances as well as risks of giving birth to twin babies.

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