How to Have Twins?

on Oct 09, 2017

by Dr. Renee Hanton, MD

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Fraternal twins occur when two eggs are released at the same time, and fertilized by two different sperm. Fraternal twins are no more related than any other two siblings. They are simply two different babies, growing in the womb at the same time.

Dreaming of Twins

When it comes to conceiving, many couples are set on having twins. Many couples have their hearts set on giving birth to, and raising twins. Some men or women might be twins themselves, and might want to give their children the same experience as they had. Some couples might want to have their babies close together in age, and how much closer can you get than twins!? Other couples might not have a real “reason” why they want to have twins, but they might just know that they want to! So, when it comes to having twins, is there really a way to improve the chances, or is it just the luck of the draw? Today we are going to find out! Claim Your 20 Free Pregnancy Tests – Click Here

How much closer can you get than twins!?

 

Are Twins Common?

Most of us know at least one or two sets of twins in our daily lives. Some people may know even more, and it may seem like twins are everywhere. And in this growing day of fertility treatments and drugs, they are much more common now than yesteryear. However, it is important to remember that naturally occurring sets of twins happen in about 1 of every 89 or 90 births. Fraternal twins are also much more likely to occur than identical twins. Identical twins are pretty rare, happening in about 3 to 5 of every 1000 births. However, fraternal twins are much more common. Everyone usually knows at least one or two sets of fraternal twins, but identical twins are still more uncommon these days.

Identical Versus Fraternal Twins

So, what is the real difference in identical twins versus fraternal twins? To make it very simple, fraternal twins are made from two separate eggs. Identical twins are made from one egg that divide into two separate embryos.Fraternal twins occur when two eggs are released at the same time, and fertilized by two different sperm. Fraternal twins are no more related than any other two siblings. They are simply two different babies, growing in the womb at the same time. Most people do not understand that fraternal twins are simply siblings who happen to be born on the same day. It sounds crazy, but it’s true!

Most people do not understand that fraternal twins are simply siblings who happen to be born on the same day. It sounds crazy, but it’s true!

Identical twins are created from one egg, fertilized by one single sperm. After fertilization, the fertilized egg splits into two different embryos. Identical twins actually share the exact same genetic material. They also share a placenta in the womb. (Fraternal twins have two separate placentas while they are in the womb.)

There are some things that increase the chances of having fraternal twins. However, there are no ways to increase the chances of having identical twins. That is one thing that is just based on pure luck. And why they continue to be such a rarety today.

However, there are no ways to increase the chances of having identical twins. That is one thing that is just based on pure luck.

 

Do Twins Run In Families?

One of the most common misconceptions and misunderstandings about twins is that they run in families. Many people believe this to be true, and oftentimes people will talk about twins being in their families and their own likelihood of having twins. However, one important thing to remember is that identical twins do not run in families. Identical twins are sort of a “fluke” so to speak, and happen when the fertilized egg, for some reason, splits into two eggs.

However, one important thing to remember is that identical twins do not run in families.

Fraternal twins, on the other hand, can sometimes “run in families,” as people like to say. What a lot of people do not understand is that instead of actual twins running in families, some women in a family might carry a certain predisposition to release multiple eggs in a single cycle.

Releasing multiple eggs during an ovulation cycle is what makes it possible for fraternal twins to result. So, it’s not the actual twins that are common in certain families, but instead it is the releasing of multiple eggs during an ovulation cycle that can be common in certain women of the same family.

Fertility Treatments

One of the things that makes twins much more likely is the use of fertility drugs or treatments to get pregnant in this day of fertility technology and advancement. Women who have fertility drugs or treatments are much more likely to get pregnant with twins as opposed to women who get pregnant naturally.

Hyperovulation is a condition in which the ovaries are over stimulated and more likely to release multiple eggs in a given month.

This is because one of the side effects of prescription pills to get pregnant or fertility treatments like in vitro fertilization is hyperovulation. Hyperovulation is a condition in which the ovaries are over stimulated and more likely to release multiple eggs in a given month. This is also the reason that women who undergo fertility treatments are more likely to get pregnant with multiples as well. When a woman begins and starts the process of fertility medications and treatments, her doctor will definitely go over all of the risks and chances of having twins/multiples when beginning that journey.

Old Maternal Age

Being an older mom can have its advantages, when it comes to having twins, anyway. This is because older moms have a much higher chance of getting pregnant with twins than moms in say their twenties or thirties. This is because right before a woman enters peri-menopause, sometimes the ovaries start to get a little out of whack.

This is because right before a woman enters peri-menopause, sometimes the ovaries start to get a little out of whack.

When this happens, more than one egg can be released in a given month. It’s pretty crazy to think that women who are on the verge of being at the end of their child bearing years would be more likely to give birth to twins or multiples than a woman in her twenties, but that’s the truth of the matter. Women who are trying to conceive after the age of 30 should definitely be aware of this increased risk of having twins.

Going Off of Birth Control

Of course, it’s common knowledge that a woman will need to go off of birth control to get pregnant. However, it seems that when a woman gets pregnant shortly after stopping birth control pills, she has a greater chance of getting pregnant with twins. Experts are not totally sure why this is, but apparently something about hormones and the shock of going off of birth control pills can cause the body to release more than one egg in a single cycle, thus giving a greater chance of conceiving twins. This is definitely something for women to remember in the first few months after stopping their birth control pills and in the beginning of their trying to conceive journey.

Breastfeeding

This one sounds a bit crazy considering all the things that we have learned about breastfeeding stopping ovulation for awhile after having a baby. However, the truth of the matter is that once ovulation does start to return after having a baby, women who are breastfeeding have a higher chance of getting pregnant than women who are not.It seems that the women who are producing Prolactin (the breastfeeding/lactating hormone) are more likely to release multiple eggs during one cycle when ovulation returns after giving birth. For this reason, women who do begin to ovulate and resume their normal cycles while they are still breastfeeding are more likely to get pregnant with twins.

Consuming Dairy Products

Another thing that actually seems to affect the rate of twin births is women who consume large amounts of dairy products. Actually, studies show that women who consume dairy products are actually FIVE times more likely to have twins than women who do not consume dairy products at all. But, why is this? It’s hard to understand, but most experts believe that it’s not the dairy products themselves that can account for the higher rate of twins, but it’s actually the HORMONES from the cows that the dairy products come from. That’s right, the cows were treated with hormones, and those hormones can cause hyper ovulation in the women who consume the products. Sounds crazy, but science says it’s true!

Actually, studies show that women who consume dairy products are actually FIVE times more likely to have twins than women who do not consume dairy products at all.

 

Random Things That Affect Twins

There are also several random things that affect the likelihood of having twins, but these things are not really things that can be controlled, rather they are random things. Do any of these apply to you?

  • Are you tall?
  • Are you heavy?
  • Are you African American?
  • Do you already have a set of twins?
  • Do you eat a lot of wild yams?

For example, taller women have a higher chance of having twins, for some strange reason. Also, women who are heavier also have a higher likelihood of having twins. This is a double edged sword, however, because studies show that women who have a BMI higher than 30 have a higher chance of having twins. However, that is considered in the overweight/obese range, so that is also not a healthy thing in and of itself.

African American women also have a much higher instance of having twins than women of other races. Experts don’t really know why that is, but the rate of twins born to African American women is much higher. Also, women who already have a set of twins are obviously more likely to have another set of twins than women who have never had twins. This is usually because women who already have twins already have a predisposition to release more than one egg during a single cycle.

Another really strange tidbit? Women across the world who live in areas where wild yams are a common food, have a very much higher rate of twin births. It’s a very strange thing that not many experts even understand, but apparently there must be something in the wild yams that can stimulate hyper ovulation. As you can see, in addition to all the “scientific” things that can cause twins, there are tons of other, seemingly random things that can make twins more likely. It all goes to show that we just never know.

Another really strange tidbit? Women across the world who live in areas where wild yams are a common food, have a very much higher rate of twin births.

Things to Remember

It’s important to remember that twins are usually just the random and there isn’t likely to be many things that a couple can do to improve their chances. Especially when it comes to identical twins, that is something that can’t be controlled, and something that doesn’t change no matter what. In fact, the rate of identical twins all over the world has stayed relatively steady over decades and decades, and no matter what area of the world, the rate of identical twins has stayed the same. That is a very strange thing, and goes to show that there is really nothing that can change having (or not having) identical twins.

So if you are one of the lucky few to have identical twins, consider yourself lucky! It’s like winning the lottery!

Fraternal twins are the type of twins that “run in families” and can potentially be more likely in some scenarios. It’s mostly things like fertility treatments or other medications that can stimulate ovulation that help to increase the chances of having twins. Although, sometimes, a woman’s body will just “mistakenly” release more than one egg in a single cycle, which will also increase the chance of having twins. However, there is really no magic formula that can “make” a woman become pregnant with twins. If it were that simple, every mommy everywhere would be walking around with twins, right?!

If it were that simple, every mommy everywhere would be walking around with twins, right?!  

The Bottom Line About Twins

It’s perfectly normal that some couples would want to have twins, for a variety of reasons. However, there really aren’t too many things that people can do to increase their chances of having twins. Fertility drugs and fertility treatments are probably the one thing that increases the chance of having twins the most. However, these treatments should definitely only be done by people who actually need them. It would not be very responsible of a doctor to prescribe fertility treatments to a woman who did not need them just for the simple reason of improving the chances of having twins. And regardless, they do not guarantee twins!

And regardless, they do not guarantee twins!

For couples who are concerned about their chances or the likelihood of having twins should definitely go ahead and talk with their doctor about their chances. A doctor can look at a couple’s medical history as well as family history and can really give a couple an idea of whether or not it would be likely for them to have twins. Especially if a couple has a fertility issue that would cause them to need to have fertility treatments, a doctor can give a good idea about what to expect going forward.

If you are trying to conceive and are wishing and wanting for twins, make sure that you read this article closely and pay attention to the things that can affect your fertility and your likelihood of having twins or multiples. The most important thing when it comes to trying to conceive shouldn’t really be the concern for twins, but the concern for a healthy happy pregnancy in general. Twins should just be considered a bonus! Good luck and best wishes on your trying to conceive journey!

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How to Have Twins?, 5.0 out of 5 based on 1 rating

Dr. Renee Hanton is ConceiveEasy's Senior Physician with expertise in the diagnosis and treatment of infertility. Dr. Hanton specializes in the endocrine causes of infertility, such as polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS).

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