identical or fraternal

Chrissy - posted on 05/04/2010 ( 68 moms have responded )

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I have twin girls born that were born @ 36weeks. I was told from the 1st ultrasound when i was told they were both little girls that they may be either identical or fraternal. they shared a placenta but were in separate amniotic sacs. Some people say they that makes them identical while others say it could go either way. So I was wondering if anyone else had this.

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Margot - posted on 05/18/2010

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The dr told me my twins were fraternal based on the look of the placenta and the fact they were in different sacs. I finally had them DNA tested this year (they are almost 9) - solely because I was curious...and it turns out they are identical. No surprise to any of my friends and family...they look very much the same, have always been exactly the same height and weight, have had their teeth grow in and fall out within hours of each other, etc. I think unless they are in one sac, you cannot say for sure one way or the other without a DNA test. It wasn't that expensive either - only $160.

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Darcy - posted on 04/20/2012

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Only 1% of identical twins share an amniotic sac. Yours sound like di-amniotic mono-chorionic (di-mo) identical twins.

Lynn - posted on 06/07/2010

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I am a twin and both of us were in our own amniotic sacs. We are not identical twins...and quite opposite in many ways. So not as close as some twins might be. Hahaha...I learned in college that I was not a twin but a result of a simultaneous pregnancy. Hahaha ...So funny.

Amanda - posted on 06/07/2010

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my girls are identical twins i was told by the hospital that they were identical twins they shared a placenta but they were in separate sacs with a thin membrain to split them

Bethany - posted on 05/29/2010

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i had that to.. they are called mo/di twins. they are indeed identical, even though they look just a tad different. and trust me being the mother you can tell the difference. but as they grow alittle bigger each day you can tell they are identical but yet they are individuals at the same time!

Amanda - posted on 05/26/2010

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i am going thru the same situation right now.. i am 13 weeks and my twins are seperated from a membrane, but are sharing one placenta, and the doctor told me they are identical.

Nikki - posted on 05/26/2010

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Hi i was told by my doctor that my twin girls were identical because they shared the same sac and only had a thin membrane seperating them. Apparently if they are in different sacs there fraternal not identical hope this helps.

Lisa - posted on 05/21/2010

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My boys are fraternal. I gave birth to them at 27 weeks. Both had separate sacs and placenta. One of the people that did the ultrasounds said they would be identical but all the others kept saying fraternal. To know for sure you can get them tested. My sisters partners sister has identical girls and they shared the placenta but were in separate sacs

Kristina - posted on 05/19/2010

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Mine are boy-girl, so obviously they are fraternal. (Though you wouldn't believe how many times I've been asked if they are identical!) However, I do know one couple whose twin boys look like carbon copies of each other. They chose to have them tested and found out they are not "fully" identical. I'm wondering if that has to do with the number of days into conception that the egg split? Or if it's the ultra-rare one egg, two sperm? Anyway, they chose to have them tested for medical reasons: in case one ever needed blood or an organ or what have you, they wanted to know if it would be possible. If you are concerned for similar reasons, or if the curiosity is just killing you, it might be worth the money. :)

Cara - posted on 05/18/2010

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I have fraternal twin girls born via c-section at 36 weeks - 2 placentas, 2 sacs. One placenta two sacs could mean fraternal or identical, depending on when the egg split or if two eggs were fertilized and fused into one placenta. Once placenta one sac is identical. It's a confusing mix of could be's from conception!! Congrats on your little angels.

Vicki - posted on 05/18/2010

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My boys had separate sacs however just one placenta. The docs said they had to be identical because they had one placenta and they were born at just 29 weeks. They did say the placenta can fuse together in a full term or close to it but mine woudn't have. They are obviously not identical twins - one green eyed red head and one brown haired blue eyed. We've come to the conclusion that they are fraternal twins of the third type - one egg and two sperm - chances like one in a million I guess but the only real explanation. Of course there could be some other explanation now - they're 26.

Angela - posted on 05/18/2010

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my girls are identical..they were in seperate sacs but shared the same placenta...if i wasn't around them 24/7 i wouldn't be able to tell them apart..but find it funny when my husband can't tell them apart

Margot - posted on 05/18/2010

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Not necessarily true. Mine were in two sacs and they are identical...I had them DNA tested.

Jess - posted on 05/18/2010

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i am the same and would like 2 no if my girls are identical or not, no 1 can tell me which i would like 2 no. my girls had same placenta 2 different sacs ( sac each ) and has all was been like that , they told me at the 1st ultrasound that the have same placenta but 2 different sacs . they do not look the same look totally differnt from each other and have a weight diff between them ?

Margo - posted on 05/18/2010

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My twins were born at 38 weeks 5 days and I was told they were most likely fraternal, two sacs, two placentas. BUT you would laugh if you saw the girls, they are 14 now 4 ft 8" both of them, 81 and 84 pounds, but body wise are starting to look very 14. When they came out DR was like hmmm, so both placentas were sent in for genetic testing and they came back they are identical, they were good size considering I am 5ft 1", I gained 100 pounds with them but was only 98 pounds when I got unexpectedly pregnant with them. Your girls(Chrissy) are adorable I miss those days. Have fun with them, mine are going to HS this August.

Mary Alice - posted on 05/18/2010

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Our twins were born exactly the same way. We were told that they would examine the placenta for a seam, but none was found. A DNA test would be required to determine whether they were identical or fraternal. We never had it done. They are 19 years old now and very healthy. There did not seem to be a point to having them tested just to know.

Jannie - posted on 05/17/2010

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Will, I went to see my OB today the only thing they did was to heard the babies heart rate, but in two week I would done a full U/S to find out more about the twins...But for right now everything is O.k. Thank God!!!

Kristen - posted on 05/17/2010

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2 separate sacs means fraternal. I had a boy and a girl who shared a placenta --- they often fuse together at some point!

Amber - posted on 05/17/2010

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My twins had 2 seperate sacks, but only 1 placenta was ever seen in ultrasound. Unfortuneately they didn't test the placenta when my boys were born, althought I requested it to be done....but now that my twins are 10 months old, they are definately fraturnal (eye colors are different), plus I'm a twin my self, so it was a more likelyhood they were fraturnal.

Theresa - posted on 05/17/2010

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OMG...Same here. I have Twin boys born at 37weeks. I was told on one of the MANY ultrasound appts I had that they share the same Placenta, but are in different sacs. the Dr. then said that they are Identical. Now that my boys are here, I would have to say they are Identical but, One is just chunkier than the other...lol.

Ann - posted on 05/17/2010

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I know a number of people mentioned the one sac vs. 2 sacs fusing. But if you don't know what yours was and they either couldn't tell or didn't test.. Many drug stores actually carry DNA test kits. I think they are more often sold for telling you about the dad but they can also do twin comparisons.

Elizabeth - posted on 05/17/2010

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My twin boys shared the same placenta but were in different sacs. I was told by my doctor that they could be identical or fraternal.They were born at 36 weeks. My sons are 2 and I can't tell which one they are. Everyone says they are identical but guess we'll see when they get older. Hope this helps.

Amber - posted on 05/16/2010

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I have identical twin boys....so they say. One placenta and seperate sacs. im only 22 weeks yet but same monozygotic i believe that how its spelled.

Carmen - posted on 05/16/2010

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I have twin boys whom were also born @ 36 weeks. Exactly the same situation as yours but no they are not identical. However, whilst they are not identical in features they are identical in habits and ways!

Jannie - posted on 05/16/2010

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Hi!!!
Right now I'm 22 Wk and 3 D pregnant, I was told from my 3er U/S I'm going to have twin boys they are shared a placenta, but they are in different sacs, so my OB Dr. told me more likely they are Identical, but he want to make sure on my next U/S for sure because this all can change he said. So I'm going to see him tomorrow(May 17) to make sure everything is O.k. So I hope what he told me before it's true about been Identical..
Good luck!!

Diane - posted on 05/16/2010

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My fertility doctor told me they were identical. Went to the peri and he said they were fraternal b/c there was 2 sacs and 2 placentas (although my placenta was misshapen). I delivered at 35 weeks b/c I was told Baby A's placenta stopped functioning. When I delivered, there was 1 placenta (they said it "fused"), still saying they were fraternal. A year later, after not being convinced they were fraternal (they look identical and had "weird" things (like cowlics in the same spot on their head, eczema in the same spot)), I had a DNA test done. They are indeed, identical. The test is only around $100 so my suggestion is, do it if it matters to you or you need that peace of mind. Good luck!

Leah - posted on 05/16/2010

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I had fraternal twins - at first we thought they were for sure... but we could only find 1 placenta... after they were born my doctor sent it off to the lab - he said it was the only way to know for sure... it ended up that the 2 placentas had grown together. Without the test it does make it harder... you may want to check with your doctor - only 1 placenta would mean an uncommon fraternal twins since they were in separate sacs. identical twins 90% of the time are in the same sac. Hope this helps!

Marsha - posted on 05/16/2010

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I HAVE TWIN SONS THAT ARE FRATERNAL BECAUSE THEY CAME FROM TWO DIFFERENT EGGS! ONE WAS BORN WEIGHING 8LBS. 12 OZS. AND THE OTHER WAS 7LBS. 5 OZS. I HOPE THAT THIS WILL HELP YOU.

Lisa - posted on 05/16/2010

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Ours are now just 18 yrs. old. With the first he was vaginal but his brother was transverse up under the rib. They had a hard time getting him out even with the C-section. The Dr. told us as soon as both were delivered that they were identical. First one was 6lbs 1 1/2 oz. the other was 5lbs. 4 1/2 oz.. They were delivered at exactly 35 wks. To this day if I don't pay close attention I mix them up. But then again they are #'s 5 & 6 out of 7. We were so thrilled God blessed us with twins that we would love to have had another set. Enjoy them they grow too quickly. Ours are soon to be graduated from home school and off the college.

Judith - posted on 05/15/2010

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My twin girls were born at 31 wks and 6 days. They shared a placenta and were different sacs. I was told before they were born that if they share a placenta then they are identical. And they are identical. How are your little girs doing?

Natalie - posted on 05/15/2010

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Hi,
I have 2 year old identical twin girls. My girls shared a placenta and the membrane between them was very thin so we were treated as having a monozygotic pregnancy. I was told by my specialist that they appeared to be identical but he could not be 100% sure. The one placenta and thin membrane pointed towards identical but placentas can fuse together. I was informed the only way to be 100% sure was to do a DNA test. I know I have not really answered your question but I guess what I am saying is to really know for sure you need to do the DNA test.

Sonya - posted on 05/14/2010

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I read a book completely on twins when i found out I was carrying twins. It said very few identical twins share the same sack. They always share the same placenta, but most of the time have their own sack. Go to your local book store in the maternity section. I am almost sure they would hava book to answer your question.

Jessica - posted on 05/14/2010

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I had fraternal twins and they were in separate placentas. I do remember reading that one placenta usually means identical, but that was 8 years ago and 4 children later so Maybe I read that wrong!:)

Lindsea - posted on 05/13/2010

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The only sure way to know if your twins are identical or fraternal (barring them being of different sexes or having different blood types) is a DNA test.

TWIN ZYGOSITY TESTING - 150$, 99% accurate and its DNA cheek swab its your best bet if you REALLY want to know
Or if you would like to estimate here's a chart:
Identical twins can have their own, or share, both the outer sac (chorion) and the inner sac (amnion):

2 Chorions(Placentas)-2 Amnions-Egg split occured between 1-4 days after conception

2chorion-2amnions-2fusedplacentas-split was 1-4days after conception
These two scenarios make up 25-30% identical twins!


1chorion-2amnions-1placenta and split was 4-9 days after conception it is 65-70% common in identical twins.

and 1chorion-1amnion-1placenta- split was 9-12 days after conception is 1-5% rare

Stephanie - posted on 05/13/2010

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Mine had one placenta and one sac. But there was a membrane separating the boys. Every time I had an ultrasound I'd hear something different though about them being identical or fraternal. But the are identical.

Ness - posted on 05/12/2010

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Hi i have 3 year old identical twins girls... and we were told the exact same thing all the way though ultrasounds.. even when they were born, nobody told me exactly yes or no whether they were identical, but my partner told me later on that when they had the placenta out they took samples of that, so i'm guessing thats how they tested,i looked in their baby books the hospitals provide you with to mark down everything immunisation, birth details etc and there was a tiny little "'mono twin'' written on the paper, i looked it up and it meant the scientific work for identical twin monozygotic

Tara - posted on 05/12/2010

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I had the same happen to me with our twin boys fifteen years ago .they look alot alike but ant share ether if they are identical or fraternal . If they choose to find out we will someday.

Deborah - posted on 05/12/2010

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I have twin boys born at 35 weeks, I had the exact same thing, and believe me mine are fraternal. They look nothing alike and one has always been quite a bit bigger than the other, they're 4 now and one is 35lbs, and the other is 40lbs

Janet - posted on 05/11/2010

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I have identical twin sisters (according to the doctors that delivered them). They looked exactly alike. Kathie passed away 12 years ago but Karen is still around. You look at her and you see her sister. I also have FRATERNAL twin daughters. Definitely NOT identical although I never got the text. They were delivered by c-section 11 days shy of full term with their weights being 7lbs 7 1/2 oz and 6 lbs 15 1/2 oz. Kimmy is way taller than Krissy again showing that they are not identical. The doctor offered to do the test to find out if they were identical but I decided against it. As they got older you could see they were not identical.

Faye - posted on 05/11/2010

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I had this happen to me actually! The Dr. told me that I could find out thr a DNA test or just wait till they grow up... I chose the cheaper way and as the older they get the more they look differently! But, when they were born they looked identical!

Tarina - posted on 05/11/2010

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♥ I know siblings can look alike, but the "identical" as far as medicine goes, means they are absolute copies, doesnt just mean they look identical, it means their DNA, plumbing, everything is 100% identical ♥ the innie and outie difference makes that impossible :)

Janna - posted on 05/11/2010

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I was told at my 1st ultrasound that I was having identical boys. They could not see baby A's face because that baby was upside down and facing backwards. But they told me that because they could see the B baby & he was clearly a boy and since they could not see any line of separation with them they must be identical boys. They became concerned with the size of the A baby and mentioned the issue of twin to twin transfusion so I was sent to a specialist for another more extensive sonogram. This specialist determined that baby A had a growth problem because twin to twin would be impossible since baby A was in fact a girl. So I went from having identical boys to fraternal boy/girl.
And the reason that there wasn't the separation that there should have been with boy/girl is a fairly unusual story so I'll go ahead & share it in case anyone else has dealt with this issue.
So I was then sent to a high risk ob/gyn and I would have to go twice a week (Tuesdays for a sonogram & Friday for a quick sonogram just to make sure she was still breathing etc.). Each of my Tuesday sonograms was videotaped for me and the doctor would take each babies' measurements while still noting that their sacs had meshed together and they were both having a hard time growing and gaining weight. My doctor had a scale of numbers he went by & both babies kept falling lower on the scale. He told me that if she dropped below 10 we would need to take her. On one of my Tuesday visits, my doctor conferred with another colleague and they both decided that it was most likely that I concieved my son first & then my daughter at another time altogether and that she "landed" on top of him and started growing in his space meshing their sacs together. I confirmed to them that there were 2 dates 2 weeks apart that I could have concieved & they showed where each sonogram did confirm that my girl always measured 2 weeks behind what her brother measured. The term for this is superfecundation twins. Their cords were also clotted and thin so they weren't getting the nutrition they needed & my doctor told me that we could take them out and feed them easier than taking a chance that they would ever be able to get enough so I had them by c-section at 32 wks which would have technically been 30 wks for my daughter. All of these things that happened in my situation really sparked my interest about the cases of identical or fraternal, and especially since there are many sets of twins in my family. I've also been in mothers of multiples support groups and have learned of so many different situations. I have identical cousins who looked more alike when they were younger than they do now and they shared placenta and amniotic sac. And don't forget mirror twins... I know a set of girl twins who could possibly be mirror twins. One has a little beauty mark on the right side of her face and the other on the left, in school programs one would kick or move their arms to the right while the other would go the opposite direction. In gymnastics one would lead off on the right and the other to the left. I would encourage everyone to keep an eye out for surveys or research because it would be so helpful as well as fascinating to get as much documentation on twins and other multiples as we can.

Carrie - posted on 05/11/2010

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I too had this and my girls as well are identical. They were born at 28 weeks though but are doing awesome. They are two now and a handful. Their amniotic sac was so thin though that they sometimes thought they shared a sac as well. Good luck, how old are they now?

Jennifer - posted on 05/11/2010

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If they actually were sharing a single placenta, they are definitely identical... only identical twins can share anything, as they form from a single egg. Fraternal twins form from separate eggs so, everything remains separate. However, the tricky part comes in because, occasionally, two separate placentas can "fuse" together and appear to be one (especially if you're just looking at it on an ultrasound). However, if you had a doctor that examined the placenta after birth and determined it to be a single placenta, then they're identical... unless he made a mistake :-p Which is always possible (although not probable)... so, if you want to settle the matter for good, get a DNA test... there's certainly no arguing with that :-D

Linda - posted on 05/11/2010

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I remember being told once that there are 3 types of twins, identical, fraternal and like twins where the egg splits before fertilisation creating very similar but not completely identical twins, they share half identical genes and half not. Mine are fraternal seperate everything.

LaVerne - posted on 05/11/2010

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Yes I had this with my boys now almost 4, I had a DNA test done and the results were conclusive with them being Identical. I have heard sometimes placenters join and seem to be one if they turn out to be fraturnal, Hope this help, I had the DNA done turough a free study at a SA Uni studing teeth. development.

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