Definition - What does Dispermy mean?

Dispermy refers to fertilization of one egg with two sperm cells that result in the formation of an embryo with 3 sets of chromosomes. Pregnancies that result from dispermy often result in spontaneous miscarriages during the second or third trimesters of pregnancy and fetuses that survive until childbirth are likely to not survive beyond a few days.

Dispermy can also complicate in vitro fertilization (IVF) by producing non-viable embryos.

FertilitySmarts explains Dispermy

Chromosomes carry the genetic material in the cells. A healthy human cell contains 46 chromosomes arranged as 23 pairs and are known as diploid cells. When gametes (eggs and sperm) are formed, each cell receives one set, that is 23 of these chromosomes. During fertilization, these two sets from the sperm and egg unite to form an embryo with 46 chromosomes.

In dispermy, two sperm fertilize a single egg, resulting in an embryo with 3 sets of chromosomes. This condition is called triploid syndrome, also called triploidy.

Dispermy can also occur during in vitro fertilization. But with advances in IVF techniques and preimplantation genetic screening (PGS), the risk of dispermy leading to a triploid pregnancy is minimized.

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