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When two babies are physically connected to each other at birth, they're called conjoined twins. Experts don’t know exactly what causes the condition. But it likely involves splitting or fusion of very early-stage embryos soon after fertilization. All conjoined twins are identical, and about two-thirds are assigned female at birth (AFAB).

Conjoined twins are caused by two embryos that are joined together during fertilization, resulting in twins that are physically connected, most commonly at the abdomen, chest or head. Conjoined twins are rare. Complications can be reduced with close management from healthcare professionals.
The very last thing parents want to hear is that there’s something unexpected going on with their unborn children. Since we don’t know why conjoined twins happen, the rare condition can’t be prevented. After diagnosis, you’ll want to start working with a team of highly qualified medical professionals who can monitor the development of your twins, help you develop a birth plan and start to discuss surgical interventions. Treatment of conjoined twins depends on where they’re conjoined and the extent of organ sharing. But there are surgical and medical options for many conjoined twins who survive birth. It’s normal to have a range of intense feelings, including fear, anger, guilt and sadness. Remember that your healthcare team is there to support you each step of the way.

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