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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A Woman Gets Second Pregnancy While Pregnant |The Republican News

Suzannah Weiss
Pregnant woman             © Getty Pregnant woman  

Add this to your list of fun facts to keep up your sleeve: It’s possible to get pregnant while you’re already pregnant, according to Live Science. Jessica Allen, a 31-year-old living in Perris, California, just learned this firsthand.

She explained to The New York Post that she was pregnant for six weeks while serving as a surrogate for another couple when she learned she had twins. She assumed they were both from the parents she was a surrogate for.

When she gave birth, she didn’t see the kids because they were on the other side of a screen. But after they got back to the couple, the Lius, the mom sent a photo of them and asked Allen, “They are not the same, right?… Have you thought about why they are different?”

After the kids got DNA tests, Allen learned that one of them had the Lius’ genetic material and the other one had hers and her husband’s. The Lius returned this boy, Max, to the surrogacy agency and asked Allen for £14,000-19,000. The agency was offering him to parents who were willing to pay this money. Horrified by this arrangement, Allen took in Max herself instead and got a lawyer to prevent her from having to pay the fee.

What Allen experienced is called superfetation, according to Live Science. It occurs when the processes that normally shut down ovulation during pregnancy aren’t working. This results in babies who are of different ages and could even have different parents, like the children Allen carried.

Refinery29        © Photographed by Ashley Armitage. Refinery29  

This phenomenon is very rare, Dr. Saima Aftab, medical director of the Fetal Care Center at Nicklaus Children’s Hospital, told Live Science. Less than a dozen cases of superfetation have been the subjects of papers in medical journals. So, while it’s possible, it’s not common enough to warrant avoiding sex while you’re pregnant just because you don’t want twins.    (Refinery29)

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