How to Conceive Twins: Factors and Tips
There are two types of twins that you can conceive. Monozygotic twinning (identical) occurs when your twins develop from one zygote that splits to form two separate embryos. Dizygotic (fraternal) twinning occurs when each originates from separate eggs, and the eggs are fertilized by their own sperm cell. Many couples become aware of their twin pregnancy through ultrasound scans after being pregnant for 8 to 14 weeks.
How Common are Twins?
Conceiving twins is uncommon, especially when there aren’t any outside fertility treatments or medication involved. The ASRM says that about one in 250 pregnancies results in twins.
There’s been a significant increase in the rate of twin pregnancies alongside two trends, the increase in popularity of fertility drugs and treatment, as well as women having children later in their life. After 1980, the rate of twin pregnancies increased by over 75%.
Also, if you do have twins, they are more likely to be fraternal twins, instead of identical twins. Fraternal twins make up approximately two-thirds of pregnancies.
Factors that Come into Play
Many outside and hereditary factors can increase your odds of having twins.
1. Family Lineage
If your family pedigree has a history of twins, then you may have a slightly higher chance of getting pregnant with twins. Moreover, having a family history of twins on your mother’s side increases your chances of having twins, then a family history on your father’s side. Although, this is only applicable to conceptions that occurred without using fertility treatments.
As stated by the ASRM, women that are a non-identical twin themselves will produce twins for about 1 in 60 births. On the other hand, men that are non-identical twins have higher odds as well, conceiving twins in just 1 in 125 births.
It’s a common myth that twins may skip generations. This means that you could potentially give birth to twins if one of your grandparents did. Nonetheless, there is limited evidence to support this claim.
According to the ASRM, In the united states, Hispanic women are the least likely to have twins, compared to non-Hispanic white women and black women. Also, research conducted by Radboud University and Oxford University scientists discovered that the home of the highest rate of twin-births is Africa.
3. Body Size
Research from the ASRM reports that non-identical twins are more common in taller and heavier women, compared to women with a smaller body frame. There’s no certain reason for this correlation, but it could possibly be related to nutrition. Women that are bulkier may have more bodily resources available for their developing fetuses.
4. Old Age
The OWH states that women aged over 30 have a higher chance of conceiving twins. The reason behind this is that women over 30 are more likely to release more than one egg, each month during their reproductive cycles. A twin pregnancy can happen when sperm fertilizes two individual eggs.
Tips on Increasing the Chance of Twins
1. Fertility treatment
According to the ASRM, the use of fertility treatments is the leading factor that increases the chance of conceiving twins. There are different types of fertility treatments that can increase the likelihood of multiple births.
Fertility medication stimulates your ovaries, causing them to release two or more eggs. If sperms are able to fertilize both eggs, possibly resulting in a twin pregnancy.
There’s another type of fertility treatment known as In Vitro fertilization (IVF), which can also increase your chances of conceiving twins. The IVF procedure is done by medical professionals that extract eggs and then fertilize them using sperm from a donor. If the fertilization is successful, they would transfer the fertilized embryo into your womb.
Healthcare professionals may transfer more than one embryo into the womb to increase the chance of success. You can conceive twins if both of these embryos are successfully implanted and mature.
Having multiple births could carry an added risk. Healthcare professionals tend to limit the number of embryos they implant in the womb, to help reduce the chances of twins, triplets, etc.
The possible side effects of twin pregnancy:
* Premature delivery
* Lower birth weight
* Birth defects
* Congenital health effects and disabilities
2. Breastfeeding during Pregnancy
In 2017, research from the Department of chemistry at Touro College discovered that women who were breastfeeding during the time they got pregnant had a higher chance of conceiving twins. This means conceiving (quickly) twice within a two-year span at the most. The Mira Fertility Starter Kit is able to provide your full fertile window, helping women conceive as early as their first try. Mira is different from all other OPK’s because Mira gives your actual hormone concentrations with 99% accuracy and takes the guesswork and stress out of ovulation tracking.
However, there aren’t many additional studies that support this research. Breastfeeding is not considered a reliable factor in increasing the likelihood of having twins.
3. Monitoring your Diet
Unhealthy eating habits can harm your fertility, so keeping a healthy diet can help you conceive. An observational study linked high trans-fat, and low unsaturated fat diets with infertility. Consuming trans fats over healthier monounsaturated fats could increase the risk of ovulatory infertility risk by 31%.
The diet of your male partner could affect your male partner’s fertility as well. Research suggests that men can benefit from adding antioxidants into their diet to help promote sperm health as well. Antioxidants can be found in nuts, grains, vegetables, and fruits.
4. Taking Folic Acid Supplements
Many doctors recommend taking folic acid supplements before and during your pregnancy to help lower the risk of spinal and birth defects. Before getting pregnant healthcare professionals to recommend consuming 400 micrograms of folic acid daily, and raising it to 600 micrograms while you’re pregnant.
There was a study done by the National Institute of Health with a sample size of over 25-thousand twin pregnancies. The results concluded that women who took folic acid supplements saw their twinning rates increase by 2.4%.