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Q&A: Identical or fraternal twins?

What's the difference between identical and fraternal twins? When will I know what kind I'm having?

Re: What's the difference between identical and fraternal twins? When will I know what kind I'm having?

The Bump Expert

Identical twins develop from the same fertilized egg and are essentially genetic copies of each other. Fraternal twins, on the other hand, develop from two separate fertilized eggs, and are no more genetically similar than any other set of siblings. Making this determination before the babies are born is not always easy.

A couple of findings on ultrasound can help. If a first trimester ultrasound between weeks 8 and 13 shows that the fetuses share one placenta(or are "monochorionic"), the fetuses are identical more than 99% of the time. However, if the fetuses have two separate placentas, they can still be identical. In this case, a second trimester ultra sound can help.

If the twins are different sexes (one boy, one girl), then they are fraternal. If they are the same sex (and have separate placentas), the determination can be made by genetic testing during pregnancy(either with amniocentesis or chorionic villus sampling) or by testing afterbirth.

Dr. Ashley Roman

Q&A: Identical or fraternal twins?

This is so cool! My husband is a fraternal twin. He looks almost NOTHING like his brother, haha.

alma_vargas |

Q&A: Identical or fraternal twins?

My sister and I have always been told we were fraternal, but we have always thought we are identical. We look exactly alike and although we had two seperate placentas, its possible that we are identical. I wonder what genetic testing would cost and consist of.

audleah00 |

Q&A: Identical or fraternal twins?

We are having fraternal twins. We found out on my first ultrasound at 8 weeks. At the time she discovered the second baby, she also could see they were fraternal. Each baby in the case of fraternal twins will be in their own sac. You can clearly see in our pictures that the sacs are definitely separate. They each had their own yolk sac, and have separate placentas as well. Because of this, we almost missed the second baby! It is possible for fraternal twins to look almost identical...but that could happen with any siblings too. A friend had fraternal twin boys, but the only way to tell them apart was that one had a mole on his cheek that the other one didn't have...

thejohnsons678 |

Q&A: Identical or fraternal twins?

I am having twins as well. Both of my doctors have told me that the only way to know if the babies are fraternal before birth is if there is one of each sex. If they are the same sex, there is no 100% sure answer until after the babies are born and blood and genetic testing are done. My specialist says this test is quite simple and you can request a kit by mail.

yellagrl4 |

Q&A: Identical or fraternal twins?

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Q&A: Identical or fraternal twins?

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watson012 |

Q&A: Identical or fraternal twins?

I'm having identical twins... I am an identical twim myself, while my brothers are fraternal.

aanp |

Q&A: Identical or fraternal twins?

I'm having identical twins... I am an identical twim myself, while my brothers are fraternal.

aanp |

Q&A: Identical or fraternal twins?

Identical

Haifadxb |

Q&A: Identical or fraternal twins?

I am (spontaneously) pregnant with identical twins and they share one placenta. Whether or not identical twins share a placenta depends on when after conception the egg splits. Twins should each be in their own amniotic sac whether fraternal or identical. It's possible for identical twins to be in one amniotic sac and that can be problematic. If there are two placentas and the babies are the same sex, then they could be identical or fraternal and to know for sure you can test their DNA after they are born. If there are two placentas and they are different sexes, then they are obviously fraternal!

krisnums |

Q&A: Identical or fraternal twins?

i dentical share the same sack, the others have seprate sacks. you can clearly see this in scans due to there being a devide between them in the style of a big white line.

gemmamillyfudge06 |

Q&A: Identical or fraternal twins?

Identical twins can share the same sac (called mono-amniotic) but more often, they have their own sac and share a placenta. They can also have their own sac and their own placenta and still be identical. IF they are mono-amniotic or monochorionic, they are, by default, identical twins. I am 15 weeks pregnant with monochorionic identical twins who were originally suspected to be mono-amniotic. Thankfully, in our 14 week u/s the membrane dividing them was discovered.

missmandymae |

Q&A: Identical or fraternal twins?

i have one set of twins that are different on the outside but are identical on the inside an now expecting a second set of twins in the up coming yr.

momof5kiddos |

Q&A: Identical or fraternal twins?

Identical look alike and fraternal don't really favor each other that much

cherigal27 |

Q&A: Identical or fraternal twins?

We're excited to find out if our boys are identical or fraternal in a few weeks. My OB thinks they are identical based on heart rates, growth rate and gut feeling. We are doing a DNA test for sure once they arrive!

RandaRae16 |

Q&A: Identical or fraternal twins?

I know of twin boys who at the age of 41 just found out they're identical! We went to HS together and it was always so easy to tell them apart, they were so different in so many ways, it's still hard to believe they are identical, but that's what the genetic tests concluded.

nikkibs |

Q&A: Identical or fraternal twins?

I am a twin and they have gone back and forth all our lives whether or not we are identical or fraternal. Some doctors say one things and others say differently. We do look alike, although as we get older you can see more differences.

tinabean531 |

Q&A: Identical or fraternal twins?

Identical twins are made from one sperm and one egg that split after fertilization. Fraternal twins are two sperms that fertilized two different eggs.

JessiM92 |

Q&A: Identical or fraternal twins?

Identical share the same sac and placenta, and fraternal share separate sacs and they have their own placenta.

Lynnette1286 |

Q&A: Identical or fraternal twins?

I am 15 weeks pregnant with twins. They both their own everything. Some answers on here say that if they have their own sac and placenta then they are fraternal which is not true. My doctor said in cases like mine, there is still a 10% chance that they are identical if they split by the 3rd day of conception.

BethanyCrone |

Q&A: Identical or fraternal twins?

How soon can you tell if they are identical or not?

Monica718 |

Q&A: Identical or fraternal twins?

Identical twins are from the same egg, which split after it was fertilized. Identical twins also share a placenta. Fraternal twins are from two separate eggs and have separate placentas.

krisleav1130 |