Identical Twins – Causes, Myths and Facts


It is definitely exciting, when a woman discovers that she is pregnant. It is an even bigger surprise when she gets to know that she is pregnant with twins. Parents will also be excited to know whether they are identical or non-identical.

After conceiving, the most common question a mother would like to ask the doctor, apart from the gender of the baby, is how many babies is she pregnant with. Multiple pregnancies, especially those which occur naturally are a mystery to several people.

It is quite interesting to know about how exactly twin babies are formed, and what are the factors that affect it. This might also help you to determine if there are any possibilities of you conceiving twins.

Types of twin pregnancy:

Monozygotic or Identical twins: Identical twins are born only when a single egg is fertilized. Later, the egg separates into two halves creating monozygotic twins, who share the same genes. Identical twins are usually of the same sex and so chances of having a boy and girl at the same time are rare. Thus, if you are having identical twins you can be rest assured that it will either be two boys or two girls and they will look exactly like each other.

Non-Identical or fraternal twins: When two different eggs are fertilized non-identical twins happen. These dizygotic twins are alike just like any other siblings, but they do not have exactly the same features. In this case, the babies can be of different genders or can be of the same sex. Dizygotic twins are more common than identical twins.

Issues in twin pregnancy:

When a woman discovers that she is carrying two babies (twins), she will definitely have numerous questions, especially about how this happened and does she need to take any extra care. Well, to describe the situation in simple words, we can say that this is purely a nature’s miracle and there are rare chances of any complications. However, if the babies are sharing the same amniotic sacs there are a few things the mother and doctor need to take care of. The common issue that arises when twin babies are sharing the same amniotic sacs is that they might deliver prematurely and one of the two or both might be underdeveloped.

Apart from features, how similar are identical twins?

As mentioned before, identical twins are usually of the same sex. In addition, they have the same DNA and common genes. They are just like mirror images. In fact, in some cases, twins can be distinguished only after checking their teeth, fingerprints, handwriting or any type of obscure observations. Further, they definitely have different individual personality and character traits.

It is observed in several cases that twins are extremely emotionally attached to each other and are also assumed to live longer due to this attachment. It is also believed that they have their own personal language through which both of them communicate with each other. In simple words, because they have been nurtured in the same womb for nine months, they just very well know every gesture of each other.

In a few cases, the mirror twin might have a condition in which some or all the internal body organs are placed on the opposite side of the body. Nonetheless, this is extremely rare and is just considered as a birth defect.

Myths and facts about identical twins:

There are many legends about twins and now with the advancement in science, we can actually detach fact from fiction.

Myth: It runs in the family

Fact: This is not at all true and there are no evidences to support the myth that twins run in the family.

Myth: Skipping a generation

Fact: Definitely you might have heard that if your father and uncle are twins and you are not then there are chances that you might have a twin. Well, again, there are no prominent evidences to support this.

Myth: If you have frequent morning sickness than you might be pregnant with twins.

Fact: Not necessarily. Some mothers who have twin pregnancy do report of having frequent morning sickness, but some simply don’t experience any.

Myth: They speak a different secret language.

Fact: Well as mentioned before, as twins have shared the same womb for nine months they just know each other very well. This helps them understand each other perfectly.

Myth: Every pregnancy start as twin pregnancies

Fact: It is not true that every pregnancy starts as twin pregnancies. Although, with the help of early pregnancy scans, it is now discovered that many pregnancies do start with two fertilized eggs.


Having twins is like a miracle and no parents should take it for granted. It is your duty to guarantee the best possible pregnancy and for that getting a proper education and making proper plans is very crucial. Of course, you will learn many things along the way, but make sure you make necessary arrangements well in advance to welcome your two little angels.

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