Heteropaternal superfecundation is a rare phenomenon where fraternal twins can be born from two different fathers. Although rare, there have been cases where a woman became pregnant simultaneously with two different men. After the twins are born, a DNA paternity test can be performed to determine whether this is the case. In order to ascertain whether the twins have different fathers, a DNA paternity test can also be performed while the woman is pregnant. If you think of twins, you probably picture identical twins, which are produced when a single egg that has been fertilized by a single sperm is split. These kinds of twins can never have different fathers. Fraternal twins, on the other hand, can differ in appearance when two distinct eggs are fertilized by two distinct sperm. Only 19 heteropaternal superfecundation cases have been documented globally to date. So, even though it’s uncommon, heteropaternal superfecundation, a phenomenon where twins have different fathers, is definitely possible. It is actually very uncommon for twins to have different fathers, a condition known as heteropaternal superfecundation. When a second egg is released at the same time as the first, it happens. The second egg must then be fertilized by the sperm of a different man during sex that occurs shortly after the first egg was fertilized. In order for this to occur, a woman must release an egg, engage in sexual activity with a man, release another egg, engage in sexual activity with a second man, and do all of this within her ovulation window, which is between 12 and 24 hours after the release of an egg. The time frame can be extended, though, because sperm can stay alive in the body for up to five days.
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