What increases your chances of having twins? There are multiple factors that cause the birth of twins. Fertility treatments such as Clomid, Gonal-F, and Follistim boost your chances that you will conceive multiples but other factors such as age, health, and family history can also cause the birth of twins. Let’s look at different ways that can increase your chance of having twins.
Giving Birth to Twins Naturally
There are 1 in 250 pregnancies that result in twins naturally. There are two ways of conceiving twins naturally i.e. identical twins and fraternal twins.
Identical twins: In identical twins, a single egg is fertilized by a single sperm. The fertilized egg divides into two and gives rise to identical twins. The chances of having twins are rare i.e. 3 or 4 in 1,000 births. Identical twins are of same-sex either boys or both girls. They do not only look alike but share exactly the same DNA.
Fraternal twins: Fraternal twins are given birth when two separate eggs are fertilized by two different sperm cells. Both the eggs get implanted in the uterus and after nine months, two babies are born. They can be two boys, two girls or one girl and one boy. They may or may not look alike and do not share the exact same DNA.
Learn More about 10 unique types of Twins
Factors Increasing Chances of Having Twins
Some of the factors that can boost your odds of having twins are:
Age: As the age of women increases, the hormone FSH also rises which increases the chance to conceive twins. The function of Follicle-stimulating hormone is the development of eggs in ovaries. Higher levels of this hormone are required as a woman ages because more stimulation is needed to grow than in a younger woman.
Family history: If there are fraternal twins in your family then your chances of having twins rise. When there are fraternal twins on both sides i.e. mother and father side then the chance of having twins even increases more.
Weight: Obese women with BMI over 30 are more likely to conceive twins than women with a healthier BMI. Too much fat increases estrogen levels in body. This can lead to overstimulation of ovaries. Instead of releasing one egg at ovulation, ovaries may release two or more.
Height: Taller women are more likely to have twins. The exact reason behind this is not known but one theory states that better nutrition leading to more height can increase the rate of having twins. The results of a study conducted in 2006 show that the rate of twins is higher in women who are more than an inch taller than the national average which was 5 foot 3 ¾ inches.
Diet: Women who consume dairy products may be taking in extra insulin growth factor. The cows release this hormone into their milk and when it is consumed by humans, it influences reproduction. One of the theories says that growth hormones given to cows affect hormone levels in humans.
Previous pregnancies: If you already have fraternal twins then it increases five times the chance of having multiples again according to Twins and Multiples Birth Association in the UK.
Having Twins Through Fertility Treatments
There are fertility treatments that can boost ovulation and can lead to having twins, triplets, or higher-order multiples. Conceiving multiples is a higher risk of fertility treatments. This risk can be decreased with careful monitoring, single embryo transfer through IVF treatment, and the lowest possible effective dosage (when treating with gonadotrophins). The fact is multiple pregnancies come with risks because infertility treatments the doctor is trying to help you to give birth to a single healthy baby. Some of the treatments that lead to twins are:
- IUI treatment
- IVF treatment
If you conceive twins or more, you should know that good prenatal care can reduce the risk of complications.