Twins

Twins are offspring resulting from the same pregnancy, which can be the same or opposite gender.

The general term for more than one offspring from the same pregnancy (multiple birth) is multiples, for example triplets refers to cases of three offspring from the same pregnancy. A fetus alone in the womb is called a singleton.

Dizygotic twins

Dizygotic twins (commonly known as fraternal twins, but also referred to as non-identical twins or biovular twins) usually occur when two fertilized eggs are implanted in the uterine wall at the same time. When two eggs are independently fertilized by two different sperm cells, DZ twins result. The two eggs, or ova, form two zygotes, hence the terms dizygotic and biovular.


Monozygotic twins

Monozygotic twins, frequently referred to as identical twins, occur when a single egg is fertilized to form one zygote (monozygotic) which then divides into two separate embryos. Their traits and physical appearances are not exactly the same; although they have nearly identical DNA,environmental conditions both inside the womb and throughout their lives influence the switching on and off of various genes.