More and more people want to get pregnant fast and conceive twins. Are you one of these women?
There are two types of twins: Identical and fraternal. Identical twins are also called monozygotic twins. Fraternal twins are also called dizygotic twins. Around one-third of sets of twins are identical, while two-thirds of sets are fraternal. Having twins who are identical is relatively rare and is primarily influenced by ovulation induction techniques and the number of blastocysts transferred during an IVF procedure. The odds of identical twinning occurring by nature are rare.
Since identical twinning results from a single egg being fertilized by a single sperm that then splits into two separate embryos, the DNA material inside each embryo is identical. These twins are always the same sex, either both boys or both girls.
Fraternal twins, on the other hand, result from two eggs fertilized by two sperm cells. These non-identical twins can either be two boys or two girls, or a boy and a girl, because they do not share the same genes. These twin pairs may or may not have the same appearance. They are like two regular siblings who happen to be conceived around the same time and are born at the same time.
Since the odds of identical twinning occurring is constant, there's very little you can do to increase the odds of having this type of twin pair. But are you curious to know what may increase the odds of your having non-identical twins?
Several factors affect why a couple might have sets of twins.
The factors that improve the probability of having twins’ may include women’s age, family history of twins, racial background, diet and lifestyle habits, supplementation, body weight, height, existing medical condition, prescribed medications, fertility treatments, and maternal nutritional status.
Multiple births can include non-identical twins or identical multiples. The more you know about the causes and the different factors that influence the conception outcome, the closer you may get to knowing your chances of conceiving multiples.
Key factors to conceive twins:
Older women have higher chances of conceiving multiples!
The age of the mother is one of the most critical factors in conceiving twins. It may seem like an obvious point, but it's also true!
Women over 35 years old tend to produce higher levels of follicle-stimulating hormone (FSH), a chemical that helps an egg mature. With higher levels of FSH, the odds of releasing two eggs per cycle - one from each ovary - increase. This creates a higher chance of twins. Although this seems simple, the risks of conceiving multiples also increase as mothers get older.
Family history determines your odds of conceiving twins!
Women who have a family tree history of conceiving twins are more likely to do so themselves for fraternal twins. If you come from a twin parentage or have a sister who gives birth to twins, you may have an increased likelihood of conceiving twins at any age. Your chances of producing twins are around 1 in every 60 deliveries, while women who have no family history of delivering twins have just a 1 in 250 chance of conceiving twins.
Racial Background - Being black substantially improves your odds of fraternal twinning!
Twinning rates vary around the world. Women who are of specific racial backgrounds have an increased chance of conceiving twins when compared with others.
Some examples: Ashkenazi Jews are four times more likely than average to produce higher-order multiples. This can be traced back to genetic mutations passed down through ancestry. African American women are three times more likely to conceive twins than white women in America - while black women also have a more significant number of interracial twin births than any other race.
The highest rate of dizygotic (fraternal) twinning happens among African women in Nigeria: the rate of twins is 9 per 200. Hispanic women in Latin America, and Asian women, are the least likely to fall pregnant with fraternal siblings. They have the lowest rates, at 6-9 fraternal pairs per 1000 live births.
Being Overweight can lead you ovulate multiple eggs, and conceive multiples!
Women whose BMI exceeds 30, meaning that they are significantly overweight, have a significantly increased chance of having twins compared with women with a BMI of less than 20.
Having excess body fat increases your blood's insulin level, leading to additional hormone production. The excess hormones can trigger multiple ovulation, or release of more than one egg, during the same menstrual cycle. It can affect how likely you are to conceive twins and what type of twin they will be - fraternal or identical.
Where a woman's body mass index (BMI) is above 30 is one of the strongest factors in conceiving twins or multiples. Women in this high BMI group account for about forty percent of the variance in twin and high-order multiples.
Above-average height in the same racial background is a factor in conceiving twins!
Body height: Tall women have a higher chance of delivering twins than women of average height of the same nationality. This is because taller women generally have higher insulin-like growth factor (IGF) levels, which alters the reproductive system in a manner that leads to the ovulation of more than one egg.
Diet with high-fat dairy foods and dairy products raises your estrogen levels, releasing multiple eggs for multiple births!
Women who eat a lot of high-fat dairy foods tend to have a higher birth rate for twins. Fatty foods are hormonally active. Not only do they help release hormones that trigger the ovaries to release more than one egg, but they also affect how these eggs are released. For example, if there is a high level of estrogen in your body, you might release two or more eggs during any given menstrual cycle instead of just one.
Use of In vitro fertilization (IVF) and Intra-uterine insemination (IUI) can increase twin births!
Assisted reproductive technology such as in-vitro fertilization or intrauterine insemination can increase twin births. Because IVF is a pricier option to induce pregnancy, artificial insemination, a technique used to insert sperm directly into the woman's cervix or uterus, has become a popular choice. For women under 35, the rate of twin pregnancies with IVF with fresh embryos is 12%, while for women 35 to 37, the rate is 9%.
Use of Fertility drugs increases your likelihood of having multiple gestations!
When subfertility or infertility is an issue, reproductive endocrinologists often recommend fertility drugs to stimulate the ovaries. The purpose of these drugs is to increase the number of follicles and egg formation.
The most common fertility drugs are clomiphene citrate, letrozole, gonadotrophins, and human menopausal gonadotropin (hMG).
According to one cohort study, fertility drugs can increase the chances of multiple gestations, a term that describes a pregnancy with more than one fetus. Multiple gestation rates were approximately 11% in women receiving gonadotropins, 15% in Clomiphene Citrate, and 5% in the Letrozole group.
When a woman uses gonadotropins and Intrauterine Insemination, the probability of multiple gestations can increase to 29%.
Taking Prenatal Supplementation can help you get pregnant fast and conceive twins!
Prenatal vitamins often consist of a wide variety of vitamins and minerals.
In many countries, women are encouraged to take prenatal vitamins at least three months before and during pregnancy. As a result of prenatal supplement intake, fertility studies have noted a high correlation between mature oocytes and prenatal supplement intake.
A Swedish study reported a 71% increase in the odds of dizygotic twinning (fraternal twinning) when women take folic acid during conception. Another study reviewed twinning rates from 1990-2001, examining 510,000 singleton pregnancies and twin births. The likelihood of twins increased by 18% from the pre-fortification to the post-fortification period.
Previous pregnancy or previous history of twin pregnancy makes you more likely to conceive twins!
The history of a singleton or twin pregnancy can intensify the chances of twin pregnancy. When you've conceived twins naturally, you've shown that your body can release multiple eggs close together. You have a higher than average chance of this happening again.
Preexisting medical conditions can make you more likely to ovulate more than one egg, resulting in multiple gestations!
Some underlying health issues can also increase the twin birth rate. The common causes of dizygotic twins include Polycystic ovary syndrome, diabetic Mellitus, luteal phase defect, thyroid disease, acromegaly, kidney disease, and breast cancer.
How can I increase my chances of getting pregnant fast?
- 1Get fit before trying to conceive: Getting up or down to a healthy weight can help you improve your hormone balance, egg quality and ovulation. This enhances your fertility.
- 2Always eat a balanced diet with plenty of fresh vegetables and fruit. Increase your intake of lentils & other legumes.
- 3Be more physically active to increase blood flow to your pelvis, creating a healthier womb for natural conception.
- 4Control weight gain: If you're overweight, losing some excess weight can help you conceive faster. Being underweight may cause fertility problems too, so try to maintain a healthy weight throughout the journey to getting pregnant. That means consuming 4-6 portions of fruit or vegetables per day.
- 5Address stress levels: Stress affects hormone levels and your ability to stay pregnant, so stress management, and routines to promote relaxation are essential if you are trying to have twins.
- 6Take a prenatal supplement starting at least three months before planning to conceive.
- 7Sleep early and have an adequate sleep every day.
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