What are my chances of having twins? This is a very common question many women ask themselves, whether they are trying to conceive or mothers who are expecting. Will you be hearing the pitter patter of four little feet?
The incidence of multiple births has been on the rise since the 1980’s, reporting nearly a 60% increase. These days there is about a 3 in 100 chance of conceiving twins. So now more than ever many of us wonder if we could be the lucky ones.
Though there is no conclusive scientific evidence as to how, when and why the miracle of twins happens, here are some things that may have some influence in your chances of having twins.
Runs in the Family
Fraternal Twins which are Dizygotic Twins are sometimes hereditarily – The twin gene causes hyper ovulation releasing two eggs instead of one, only relates to women but can be passed down from their father. If you (the mother) are a fraternal twin then your chances of having twins are increased even more.
Nigeria has the highest twinning rates in the world with about 1 in every 22 births. They say this is partly accredited to their population’s consumption of yams. So if you really want multiples why not try it, you never know it just might work.
Have Twins Already
Once you have had a multiple pregnancy it is said to be four times more likely that a twin pregnancy is possible. More so than women who have never been pregnant or women who have only had a singleton.
Odds of Twins Increases with Age
Odds of twins also increases with age. Of all expectant mothers over the age of 45, 17% of those will have a multiple pregnancy and at 50 or over it’s even more likely with nearly 1 in 9 pregnancies. It is said that this happens due to the body accelerating ovulation as the biological clock ticks faster approaching menopause. Also if fraternal twins are heredity on the mother’s side of the family the odds will increase further.
The likelihood of a multiple pregnancy at the age of 25 or younger is unlikely, but that’s not to say it can’t happen.
Fertility Treatments and IVF
The reproductive technology and the availability of fertility drugs like clomid has increased the rate of multiple births.
Some people assume that IVF twins are always fraternal (non-identical), due to several embryos being implanted. But in fact there has been an increase in identical multiples among patients receiving IVF – In Vitro Fertilization.
Being Tall or Over Weight
Apparently being tall or overweight is another thing that can increase your chances of twins, a study which was published by the American College of Obstetrics and Gynecology.
Trying to conceive while breastfeeding can actually increase the odds of having multiples, many people think you can’t get pregnant while breastfeeding, so be careful if you’re not ready for another pregnancy.
So basically your chances of carrying multiple babies is at random and out of your control. Even if they run in your family that’s not to say you will have twins one day. The only suggestion you could try from the above is to eat more yams! You never know you may be one of the ‘lucky ones’.
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