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Superfecundation/Superfetation: Twins From The Same Pregnancy With Different Fathers

RN file photo: Twins from separate biological fathers from the sam pregnancy

by Ike A. Offor

Superfecundation is fertilisation of two or more ova from the same cycle by sperms of separate acts of sexual intercourse leading to twin babies from different biological fathers. The term superfecundation is derived from the word fecund, meaning the capacity to produce offsprings. Superfetation in the other hand is having a second pregnancy from two separate ovulation that is usually weeks apart. The second ovulation can occur weeks or even months after the first ovulation resulitng in another pregnancy.

Many have asked this question and some have wondered how this phenomenon is feasible due to their very basic comprehension of medical cum biological science. So, the essence of this article is to help many who do not grasp that idea to have a very basic comprehension of how this phenomenon occurs.

Twins with different fathers can occur with heteroparental superfecundation and heteroparental superfetation. These two are separate but rare events in conception of twins whose fathers are not biologically related.

Superfecundation happens when there are twins from ovulation on the same day with two separate fathers. Two separate eggs were released and fertilization happens during the same menstrual cycle, usually within less than 24 hours of ovulation. The woman had sex with two different men within 5 days before or on the day of ovulation. 

Superfetation happens when a woman gets pregnant again after the implantation of one fetus. For this to happen the pregnant woman must ovulate after she is already pregnant and this egg must be fertilized by another sperm. This can occur weeks or even months after the first egg is fertilized, and the result is that one fetus is more advanced in pregnancy than the other. This is an extermely rare event in humans and has been reported only a few times. Superfetation can happen with the same father or different fathers (heteroparental).

Superfecundation or heterparental superfecundation is a word for twins with separate fathers. Each twin has a different biological father. For this to take place, two things have to happen.

  1. The mother or female has to ovulate twice (dizyogtic). Funny enough this is not so rare but do happen in 1 in 50-100 ovulations
  2. The mother or female has to have sexual intercourse with different men within a couple of days to one week before ovulation. This allows two separate sperms to fertilize two separate eggs.

Both of these events can occur by having sexual intercourse with separate men on the same day or different days, since sperm can survive for up to 5 days. Multiple ovulations take place in about 1% or (more) or often when one takes ovulation-inducing medication.

One thing is very clear from these phenomena, and that is that fact that a woman can get pregnant again though she is already pregnant. It sounds weird right? Yes, it sounds weird but this is what we have just treated here. Also, a woman can have babies of two different men at once and deliver them as twins.

So, do not cheat because you think you are already pregnant, because you could get pregnant again by your man or whoever else you cheated with. Also, do not have sex with different sexual partners within few days or even months from each other, you may get pregnant by sperms from both men.

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