Monday, 4 April 2011

Dichorionic Diamniotic (DCDA) twins - Identical or Fraternal?

We were told very early on that the type of twins that we were having were Dichorionic Diamniotic (DCDA) twins.  We were also told at our very first (6 week) scan that our twins were identical.

Future doctors and ultrasound technicians told us that our twins were fraternal.  For the first few months, we would explain that we had been told right at the beginning that they were identical and were told time and time again that no, they were definitely fraternal.

Because they had their own sac and own placentas.

I did quite a bit of Googling of this type of twins and found that:

* They were the safest type of twins you could have. 
* DCDA twins have the lowest mortality risk at about 9 percent, although that is still significantly higher than that of singletons
* Although the majority of DCDA twins are fraternal, 10% will be identical
Dichorionic diamniotic twins form when splitting takes place by the third day after fertilization
They may or may not have separate (or fused) placentae

The girls' placentas were on the back wall of my uterus so an ultrasound could not truly see whether it was fused or not.

The below diagram shows Dichorionic Diamniotic (DCDA) Twins:


At 4 April 2011 at 18:49 , Blogger Lara N. said...

I'm also a mother of twins, they're fraternal girls. Now they're 3yrs 8months old, and were born after 39 weeks pregnant (both head up, so c-sec unavoidable. One was 6pounds 1 ounce, and the other was 6 pounds 8 ounces.

If you have any questions, rants, panic attacks, whatever, feel free to send me an email. People were there for me when I was preggers, I'd like to be there for others.
lara at twiceblessedlife dot com
Twice Blessed Life - Raising Twins Heartistically!

At 1 February 2012 at 09:54 , Blogger RunEATRunAgain said...

Hi there,

I am mother to DCDA IDENTICAL twin girls. Mine split early enough that there were two membranes, two sacs and two separate, unfused placentae. Everyone told me that mine were fraternal too, but when they were born and looked exactly alike, I went ahead and opted for the DNA test because I just couldn't stand the suspense! Of course it came back identical and I have been schooling people on how twins work ever since. It is nice to be able to answer the people we meet on the street when they ask... and they ALWAYS ask!!!

At 8 June 2013 at 23:08 , Blogger Paula Hoff said...

They do always ask, and I don't know. While it is more probable that my DCDA boys are fraternal, they look so much alike. We can't afford to do DNA testing and I don't know anyone else/anyone with identical twins, so here's my question: How different can identical twins look? Of course we can tell our guys apart, but is it typical for non-parental-units to be able to do this? The nurse that weighs them once a week always knows who's who, but my mom never can tell. They really do look very much alike but the older boy has a different head shape. The reason I mention he's older is because dad has a theory that the only reason his head is different is because it got squished so much coming out but twin B was vacuumed out and his head didn't get squished. Any thoughts?

At 19 June 2014 at 21:03 , Blogger Tasha said...

I have dcda identical twin girls...They had two separate placentas and two separate sacs...I always thought the only way they was identical was if they where in the same sac or shared a placenta....but that's not true...They can have separate sacs and placentas and still be identical....Mine two nobody can tell them apart except for me and my husband or someone who is around them alot...I also can tell them apart by their heads one has a bigger head and is more rounder and the other has a littler head and is shaped just a tab bit longer. I can see it but everyone else that ask how they can tell them apart can seem to see it..They can see that one head is bigger than the other..but looking at them individually you would never be able to tell them apart...I just found out mine was identical....and they just turned a yr old..I couldn't stand not knowing any longer..Everyone would a ask but I couldn't tell them anything but we think they are but not for sure....because they could be either...Most fraternal twins can look alike but if you have trouble telling them apart they are most likely identical...Mine also has what they call an Genonia spot one has it on the right side of their bottom and the other has it on the left side in the same exact spot but different sides....A way you can tell if they are identical or not to is by their teeth if their teeth structure is exactly alike than they are identical because not teeth structure is alike...Hope this helps you..I know how it can drive you crazy not knowing for sure...


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