Science Questions

Can you have two pairs of twins in one pregnancy?

Sun, 10th Apr 2011

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Question

Jacob Mann asked:

If females can produce two egg cells at times, then two sperm cells create fraternal twins, can they split into two pairs of the same fraternal twins?

Answer

Kat -   This is possible, yes.  Quadruplets, that's a pregnancy with four babies, can happen in lots of different ways.  You could get four different eggs fertilised, one egg might split into four, that would result into four identical quads, you could get one egg splitting into three, one egg being fertilised, two fertilised eggs splitting into two, all sorts of variations on this.  Now, I can find two cases of double twins that I found out about.  There's a set of quads made up of two pairs of girls, so that's two fraternal pairs of identical girls, born in the UK in 2010 and a pair of identical boys and a pair of identical girls born Canada in 2008.  Both of these resulted from IVF treatment where the woman was implanted with two fertilised embryos and then these both split into two, creating two pairs of twins.  Now, this is an extremely rare situation and natural quadruplet pregnancy is extremely rare, so it is possible that it could happen naturally, but it would be very unlikely occurrence.

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Jacob Mann asked the Naked Scientists: If females can produce two egg cells at times, then two sperm cells create fraternal twins, can they split into two pairs of the same fraternal twins? What do you think? Jacob Mann, Tue, 1st Mar 2011

Yes nowadays itís possible to have two pairs of twins in one pregnancy. Although it seems strange how one pregnancy can result in more than one baby, but now with the advancement in technology and medicine everything is possible. Here are few ways to conceive multiples: With more than one ovulation or by releasing multiple eggs that can be possible with or without fertility drugs, you can have twins. By using successful IVF process in which usually three or more fertilized eggs transferred back into the uterus. A recent experience of having twins through IVF has happened in Ohio where couples underwent this treatment with embryo round-the-clock monitoring by an EmbryoScope present at ilexmedical.com. It is a device which helps fertility specialists to choose right embryos that can give successful pregnancy and birth. RubenParson, Thu, 12th Mar 2015

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