Wondering about your chances of having twins? Maybe they run in the family so you’re thinking ahead, maybe you’re going through fertility issues and would just like to have twins so that you don’t need to go through it all again. Maybe you’re recently pregnant and are wondering if these crazy early pregnancy symptoms could mean that there is more than one baby in there?
We get a lot of letters from parents to be wanting to know their chances of having twins – so after a ton of research, here’s what we’ve been able to find out. So what exactly are the chances of having twins? It seems lately everywhere you look, someone is pushing a twin stroller. Twinning rates are on the rise and it seems that changes in lifestyle are to blame. Now whether or not this means that you can actually control being able to have twins, I don’t know – but there are some factors that contribute to twinning.
You’ll raise your chances of having twins if.…
You are waiting until later in life to start your family. Women who are 35- 39 years old are three to five times more likely to release more than one egg when they ovulate, which of course can be responsible for producing twins. The chances of having twins increases with age; 17% of mothers over the age of 45 give birth to twins. Even just over the age of 30 – the rates start to increase. If you are younger than 25, it is not likely –
Now this will only result in fraternal twins – babies who are created from separate eggs.The mother’s age does not seem to have any effect on whether or not she’ll have identical twins – babies from one split egg. Identical twins are truly a mystery!
If you are an identical twin ( monozygotic) you do have an increased chance of having twins yourself. Your chances of having twins can be significantly higher if you are relying on fertility technology. One drug in particular – Clomid (clomiphene) works by stimulating the pituitary gland to make the ovaries produce and release mature eggs has been linked to higher rates of twins – some studies say as high as one in five.
If you use birth control pills and then stop – or don’t always take them regularly. Sometimes former birth control pill users who immediately get pregnant after stopping the pill can seem to get an extra hormone surge, causing more than one egg to be released at a time – resulting in twins.
If twins ‘run in the family’. There are a lot of misconceptions here, but mainly that it only matters what happens on the mother’s ( maternal) side of the family. If there are fraternal twins running in the mother’s side of the family, this may increase the chances of having twins for you.
If you’ve already had a few ( or more!) children, or if you’ve already had a set of twins , your chances of having twins goes up. Families with twins are generally more fertile and your odds go up with each child you have – along with your age.
If you live in Nigeria. This African country apparently has the highest twinning rate in the world, estimated at 1 in 22 in the Yorubas of Nigeria.. Some sources attribute it to their consumption of large quantities of yams and the estrogen-like properties. So if you really want to conceive twins – think about eating yams !
If you are taller or heavier than the average woman – Denmark, Norway and the Netherlands have the highest twin rate among whites and African women have a higher rate than white women. Asians have the lowest rate.
If you live in a rural area instead of a busy city. The theory is that country women are a little bigger, a little stronger and have healthier diets and less pollution.
Or maybe you will just be plain lucky and mother nature gave you the gift of twins. If so – enjoy – you may never know the reason ‘why’ you were chosen.
So you can see that most of the odds of having twins are out of your control – with the exception of eating yams( which may be worth a try if you really want twins!)The exact reasons for twinning are not known conclusively.