Anonymous asked in HealthOther - Health · 1 decade ago

There's such a thing as triplets, and such a thing as conjoined twins, but are there ever conjoined triplets?

Is it possible to have conjoined triplets? How would this work, and how likely is it to happen?

7 Answers

  • 1 decade ago
    Favourite answer

    Yes there are some instances.. see the links belowl

    The proof that it can happen can be found in the existence of identical triplets, given that conjoined triplets are just a single fertilised egg that twice splits but fails to separate properly, and the developing embryo results in a conjoined foetus.

    As only one in approximately 100,000 births will result in identical triplets; a far, far smaller number will survive full-term, and given that medical complications are more probable during a pregnancy involving 'higher-order multiples', and that they will probably share vital organs, you can imagine how unlikely it is for conjoined triplets to occur.

    However, when the subject of conjoined triplets (or 'triple monsters' as they call them) was addressed in Gould and Pyle's infamous 1896 book Medical Curiosities, they made reference to some unverified cases. They wrote: "Haller and Meckel were of the opinion that no cases of triple monsters worthy of credence are on record, and since their time this has been popular opinion.

    Surely none have ever lived. Licetus describes a human monster with two feet and seven heads and as many arms. Bartholinus speaks of a three-headed monster who after birth gave vent to horrible cries and expired. Borellus is quoted as mentioning a human monster formed of three foetuses, but his description proves clearly it was a union of two. Probably the best example of this anomaly that we have was described by Galvagni at Cattania in 1834. This monster had two necks, on one of which was a single head normal in dimensions. On the other neck were two heads. Geoffroy-Saint-Hillaire mentions several cases, and Martin de Pedro publishes a description of a case in Madrid in 1879."

    The closest instances we could find were cases where there were conjoined triplets, but they weren't all conjoined at the time of birth, ie, one of them was completely separated from the other two. In 2003, in Argentina, two conjoined triplets were born. However, only two of them were joined at birth and they both died, although their sister lived. There was another similar case in Texas in 1982, also involving three girls, but the same thing happened: only the separate child lived.

  • Anonymous
    5 years ago

    Yes, conjoined twins happen, and they are always identical so cannot have a boy and a girl conjoined twins, much less triplets. Conjoined triplets would not survive..too many tissues and organs shared too thinly would not make them viable. Conjoined twins happen when the egg splits to form identical twins but for some reason, the split is incomplete and two identical twins (which always are the same gender because they share the same DNA) form who share some organs, blood vessels and bone. What is shared depends on how the partial split happened. Sometimes, the conjoined twins share very little except some connective tissue and can be separated relatively easily by surgery, but sometimes they share more tissue and organs and the surgery to separate them is far more involved and difficult. In the most tragic cases, they share one organ that cannot be separated, such as the heart or brain. In that case, one twin must be sacrificed or both will eventually die. Conjoined twins are never fraternal, because fraternal twins develop from two different eggs and two different sperm cells, so they are not joined in the first place. You can have male/female fraternal twins, but identical twins are always the same gender because their DNA is identical, so they are either both XX (girls) or XY (boys).

  • Snow
    Lv 6
    1 decade ago

    Twins aren't too uncommon. Conjoined twins are rare. Triplets are very rare, so that makes conjoined triplets even rarer.

  • 1 decade ago

    It sounds highly unlikely, because the egg doesn't normally split into three identical children. But it could happen, i've just never thought or heard about it. There are some animals that develop three heads, but I've never seen three humans joined together.

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  • 1 decade ago

    I guess it's possible but delivery would probably be a colossal pain.

  • Anonymous
    1 decade ago


    its not very likely to happen.

  • 1 decade ago

    ouch! don't know

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