Everything You Ever Wanted To Know About Conjoined Twins

Conjoined twins occur in just one out of every 200,000 live births.

Daisy Violet Gentlemen

Imagine that everything you had to do was a team effort. That’s a normal life for conjoined twins, who have to decide and execute all their actions together from what to wear and what to eat to what to study and where to work.

Every action is about coordination and compromise and for some, it’s also full of companionship and unexpected joys. Here are your most pressing questions about the baffling life of conjoined twins, answered.

How Are Conjoined Twins Conceived?Conjoined X Ray

Though the medical community has learned a lot from births, surgeries, and lab tests, knowledge about conjoined twins may strike some as surprisingly limited especially when it comes to conception and development.

This is largely because conjoined twins are exceptionally rare, occurring in just one out of every 200,000 live births. Between 40 to 60 percent of conjoined twins are stillborn, and those born alive often don’t survive their first 24 hours. All are identical, which means they are always the same sex — but scientists have yet to explain why female twins are three times more likely to survive than male pairs.

In fact, 70 percent of all living conjoined twins are females and there are less than 12 pairs of conjoined twins alive today.