Identical or Fraternal? Confused...

Since I found I was having twins they always ask identical or fraternal. I have two sacs two separate placentas but was told that they still could be identical by my ultra sound tech. She said that if they divide early they will develop in their own sacs with their own placenta. I just want to make sure this is right because everyone else seams to think they can tell. Thanks Confused!!

Comments for Identical or Fraternal? Confused...

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Nov 05, 2011
Can't Always Tell
by: Anonymous

I am a nurse and studying to be a nurse-midwife so please believe I honestly do know the answer to this question!

It's easy to tell that when there is one placenta and one sac or even one placenta and two sacs that twins are identical. All fraternal twins will have two placentas.
However, approximately 35% of identical twins split before or on day 3 post-conception and can also end up with 2 placentas. Many people will ask before the babies are born or think there it a way to tell, but it is not always possible to know.
To make things more confusing sometimes fraternal twins will implant very close to each other and their placentas can fuse into a large bi-lobed placenta. So if there is one placenta that is largely divided into two lobes it can be one placenta that tried to split, or two that tried to grow together.

In cases where twins of the same gender look alike but have two placentas often only genetic testing can provide the answer. Kits to do this can be found on-line for around $150-300 or you may be able to get the hospital to perform the test.

Hope this helps!

Sep 28, 2010
by: Anonymous


May 27, 2010
Same situation
by: Oslinmommie

I was also very confused because I found out that my twins were in seperate sacs with seperate placentas and thought fraternal. Then I found out that they were both girls and was told that they may be identical... interesting concept I guess... but I am just not paying any attention until they are born and I can have their DNA tested!

May 27, 2010
Fraternal or Identical
by: Jennapiller

Yup, I was told by my doctor that aside from a DNA test, there wasn't a real good way to know if our Di/Di twin boys are fraternal or identical. I was reading, and apparently if the egg splits in two within the first 3 days, then each can implant and form separate sacs & placentas. Obviously, if the babies are b/g twins, they are fraternal. We just get to guess, until we can find out for sure. For some folks, it's not all that important. However, we would like to know, just in case it becomes medically necessary to know.

May 27, 2010
by: maui mamma of twins

I have twin boys who were in their own sacs and had their own placentas my OB dr said they were going to be fraternal because they were in different sacs but the fetal speicalist that I was seeing said they were identical because the sac between both of them were so thin and they were the same sex! you might want to see a fetal specialist and see what they think! Either way twins are a blessing congratulations and welcome to the club

May 26, 2010
by: Tess

When I had my twin boys they said the same thing. The only way of knowing is to do a Dna test, which can be quite expensive.

I was told by some doctors that the boys were fraternal and then when I had them and they looked exacly the same they said that it is a possibility that they are identical.
So if you are keen to know - dna test is the way to go.
I decided that it doesn't matter with mine. They are twins...that's good enough for me!


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