In Vitro Fertilization

Thailand is a popular medical tourism destination for in vitro fertilization (IVF), with Bangkok being the main location of clinics and hospitals which provide this service. Customers have come to us as an unbiased third party to double check the laboratory for making sure there was no mix up of sperm and/or egg, to verify the child's true mother and/or father, i.e., for DNA maternity and paternity tests.

Relying on the IVF clinic or hospital's own DNA test may not be wise. For example, if they did their own DNA test and found out they had made a mistake in the laboratory and the child was not yours, then would they tell you the truth? After all your hopes and the ordeal you went through, the money you paid them for their in vitro fertilization service, plus your own expenses and opportunity losses, would they face up to you about any laboratory error?

For you to be completely confident in the unbiased nature of a DNA testing service, you should not tell anybody which clinic or hospital you went to, and you may also give us an alias instead of your real name. Unlike many other places, we do not require that you identify yourself. (If you choose to use an alias or otherwise do not want to show your ID, then only a one word alias can be used, not a full name alias. You can choose your own one word aliases for each individual.)

We can collect the DNA samples either at our office or by sending a DNA collection agent to your location.

Identical vs. Fraternal Twins -- Zygosity DNA Test

Twins are many times more common for in vitro fertilizations than unassisted pregnancies.

Usually, you can just look at twins to determine whether or not they are identical. However, we have occasionally received requests to determine whether or not the babies came from the same egg (ovum, or when fertilized with sperm, a "zygote") or else two different eggs (with two different sperm), i.e., whether they are identical or fraternal twins (monozygotic vs. dizygotic).

Such a "Twin Zygosity DNA test" may be combined with a maternity or paternity test to completely double check the fertility clinic's laboratory.

"Identical" twins normally look the same (except their fingerprints are different), but sometimes people may think it's difficult to tell in newborn babies, and it's possible there could be some slight variation observed for reasons discussed below.

Even for the same DNA, there are sometimes differences in phenotype, i.e., how genes express themselves (epigenetics). For example, it is well known that sometimes one identical twin develops a disease which another does not, whereby the ailment is thought to have its roots in genetics. Genes can be activated differently at any time.

Asymmetries can also develop in the womb, e.g., one embryo getting more blood and nutrients than the other, such as so called Twin to Twin Transfusion (TTTS).

Notably, the DNA of identical twins is not 100% the same. The latest research as of 2012 estimates that there are hundreds of genetic differences which occur early in fetal development, due to mutations. However, this is still an extremely tiny percentage of the total DNA which makes any noticeable differences physical appearances to be very unlikely.

In any case, monozygotic twins are not actually "identical" even if they appear to be, and old textbooks which say they are exactly the same are not actually accurate. Stating 100% could be interpreted as a rounded number, which is fairly reasonable, but it may be worth the above footnote.

In vitro fertilization produces twins many times more often than natural pregnancies. Secondly, IVF produces fraternal twins more often than identical twins. Fraternal twins are caused by simply mixing multiple sperm with multiple eggs. Sometimes IVF laboratories produce identical twins by artificially splitting an embryo in order to produce more candidates for transfer into the mother's womb. Of course, it's also possible for a zygote to afterwards split inside the womb to produce identical twins.

Clinics usually attempt to insert only one of them per month, and hopes that one attaches itself and becomes an embryo. However, some clinics insert more than one embryo (normally with the patient's knowledge and agreement of this strategy), hoping that one of them will stick and become a fetus, since the probability of success per attempt may be low, especially in older women. This is also much more economical to the patient than IVF attempts over multiple months would be. Of course, this risks twins or even triplets. If twins develop, there is the option to abort one of them. (Maybe you've read news stories of more than triplets from IVF.)

There are some other unusual possibilities for anomalies with twins which are beyond the scope of this page.

In any case, we can perform paternity and maternity DNA tests for babies produced by IVF clinics and hospitals, and twins as well.






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