When it comes to pregnancy, there’s an entire list of questions just waiting to be asked. And if twins or multiples run in your family lineage, or you think you might be susceptible to conceiving more than one child, your question may be, “what is my likelihood of having twins?”
According to Babycenter.com, about one in 32 births are twin births — and that’s up 65 percent since 1980. The birth of identical twins, though, has remained fairly constant with a ratio of one in every 250 births. The rise in multiple births can be linked to many causes and determining factors: family history, fertility treatment, age, ethnicity. These factors vary with each individual scenario, but provide a solid start to answering that big question.
One large contributor to having multiples is to undergo fertility treatments such as in vitro fertilization (IVF) or intrauterine insemination (IUI). With a treatment such as IVF, chances increase by 20 to 40 percent! Other prominent factors include:
- Heredity: If you’re a twin or if twins run in your family, you’re slightly more likely to have a set yourself. Women who are fraternal twins have a one in 60 chance of bearing twins.
- Race: Twins are more common than average in African Americans and less common in Hispanics and Asians.
- Age: The older you are, the higher your chances of having fraternal twins or higher-order multiples. A 2006 study found that women over 35 produce more follicle stimulating hormone (FSH) than younger women. Ironically, increasing levels of this hormone are a sign of failing ovaries and declining fertility. But FSH is also the hormone that causes an egg to ripen in preparation for ovulation each month, and women with extra FSH may release more than one egg in a single cycle. So while older women are statistically less likely to get pregnant, if they do get pregnant, they’re more likely to have twins.
- Number of pregnancies: The more pregnancies you’ve had, the greater your chances of having twins.
- History of twins: Once you have a set of fraternal twins, you’re twice as likely to have another set in future pregnancies.
- Body type: Twins are more common in large and tall women than in small women.
There’s a lot of information out there about increasing your chances of having twins and what to do/not do, what to eat/not eat, what to take/not take. But we want to know: how did you do it? Do twins run in your family? Was it something you were hoping for? Or was it completely unexpected?
Please share your story, we’d love to hear from you!
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Category: TwinLife Parent