Having twins has its advantages. Of course, there is no denying the fact that having two babies together is a lot more burdensome than having one at a time. But imagine how you can avoid going through the pain of pregnancy one more time. If your thinking is along these lines and want to have a double bundle of joy, your expectations are fair enough. Did you know that you can actually make things work to get pregnant with twins? Yes, it sounds incredible, but there are certain ways that may be of help to you.
Momjunction lists out the various natural ways, fertility treatments and more options for twin conception. However, let us warn you that they are not fool-proof.
How Are Twins Conceived?
If you want to improve your chances of conceiving with twin babies, firstly understand how twins happen.
There exist two types of twins – identical (non-fraternal) and non-identical (fraternal).
Nearly one-third of twins are identical, also known as monozygotic twins. They are created by fluke. They develop when one egg is fertilized by one sperm and gets divided into two separate embryos. They share the same genetic composition and placenta. Identical twins can also happen in women who undergo fertility assistance methods.
Non-identical, also known as dizygotic twins, develop when two eggs are fertilized by two sperms. They are unique and do not share genetic composition or placenta. As non-identical twins share only half of the same genetic makeup, they are not always of the same gender.
General Odds Of Having Twins:
The 21st-century statistics show that the possibility of having twins are 3%, i.e., 3 in 100 among the general population. Figures also show that there is an increase of almost 61% from the early 1980s. A much recent numbers from the US National Center for Health Statistics say that the twin birth rate is 33.9 per 1000 live births.
Factors That Determine The Chances Of Having Twins:
As said earlier, identical twins could only happen by sheer chance. But, certain factors could influence the chances of having fraternal twins.
1. Family history / Heredity:
If you are a twin or twins run in your family, you are more likely to have twins. However, if your partner has a twin or twins run his family, it is not going to have any influence on your chances.
It all depends on you because you produce the eggs. If you or your mother is a twin, the probability of twins is high. You will have higher chances of hyperovulation (releasing two eggs during ovulation process). A few specific genes combine with hyperovulation and thus increase the frequency of non-identical twins.
2. Ethnicity / Race:
Your origin also has a strong influence on your chance of having twins. Asians and Hispanics have fewer chances of producing twins, whereas Africans are highly probable, followed by Europeans.
3. Type of body (height/weight):
Yes, this is strange, but taller women are more likely than shorter ones to conceive with twins. Also, heavier women have higher chances than thinner women.
Women who have a well-nourished diet are at a higher probability of producing twins than those who have a reduced and low-fat diet.
A research study published by the American College of Obstetrics and Gynaecology states that the increasing rates of multiple births are due to increased rates of obesity. It found out that women with a body mass index (BMI) of 30 and above are more likely to produce twins. This holds true for only fraternal twins.
4. Maternal age:
Your chance of having twins or more babies increases with advancing age. Women above 35 years produce more FSH (follicle stimulating hormone) than younger women. This hormone allows the ovaries to release eggs for ovulation. The higher the hormone levels, the more are the eggs released during ovulation, thereby resulting in multiple fetuses.
5. More pregnancies:
If you had multiple pregnancies before, there is a high chance of producing twins. The probability of twins improves with increasing number of pregnancies.
Best Ways To Get Pregnant With Twins Naturally:
If you want to try for twins the natural way without resorting to any treatments, try these options out:
1. Consume dairy products:
According to research by Dr. Gary Steinman et al., eating dairy products is correlated to multiple pregnancies. Women who eat dairy have five times more chances to produce twins than women who do not consume these products. Some scientists believe that it is not just the dairy products, but also growth hormones present in milk (dairy from growth hormone-treated cows) help in having twins.
2. Eat wild yams:
Wild yams hyper-stimulate the ovaries, resulting in the release of more than one egg for ovulation. It will, therefore, increase your chances of producing twins. African women have better chances for twins because they consume it as a part of their ethnic diet. Yoruba tribe in West Africa has the highest twinning rate.
Other protein-rich foods with hyper-ovulation stimulating properties are tofu, soy isoflavones, whole wheat and whole grains.