Some couples wish to have twins more than others. Although a natural process, few characteristics and techniques improve your chances of having a twin pregnancy
Some couples wish to have twins more than others.
Although a natural process, there might be a few personal characteristics and
techniques that improve your chances of having a twin pregnancy.
While there is a bit of fairytale cuteness about
having two little matchingly dressed
babies, we must admit that twins are a lot of hard work. They can have an incredible bond between them which
is lovely while they are growing up and even into adulthood.
But for the younger days, especially the first
year, the workload for the parents is incredible
and can feel at times never-ending.
If you are trying for twins there might be some
things you can do which increases your chances, but most of this is down to
genetics and the magic of babymaking.
How are twins made?
This is not the birds and the bees talk –
essentially babies are all made the same way, but inside the woman, things get a little bit different when
There are two types of twins, fraternal and
identical twins. Fraternal or dizygotic twins are formed by the fusion of two separate eggs with two separate
They are no more genetically similar than any other siblings born from
the same parents.
Identical or monozygotic twins are formed by the fusion
of one egg and one sperm which splits into two equal halves with a single
Two babies grow which share exactly the same genetic
While the incidence of twins being born is on the
increase in recent years, this is not because of some special potion or a secret ingredient that women are taking.
basically on the increase because mothers are getting older before having their
first child, and more women are using fertility assistance to conceive, both of
which up your chances of having twins.
What are the chances of having twins?
Twins are found to be conceived by only 3% of
pregnant women, resulting in slim chances of having twins or triplets. In
Australia, 1 out of 90 pregnanciesresults
in twins or a multiple pregnancy.
Fraternal twins are even harder to conceive and are
more complicated, they mostly occur to women who carry the specific twin genes in
her family background.
What characteristics can
boost the chances of twins?
Generally, twins are more commonly conceived by a
specific category of the population with physical or genetic characteristics.
The characteristics that make conceiving twins or triplets in women are detailed
#1 Over 35 years old
Women who are over 35 may undergo a variation in their
menstrual cycle length and may release more than one egg per cycle, which
increases older mums’ chances of twins.
This is because older women have higher
levels of oestrogen, which stimulates the
The increase is minimal, with the odds of having
twins for women aged between 25 and 29 at 3%, at 4% for women aged 30-34 and up
for 5% for women aged between 35-39.
Even if you desperately want to have twins, we
don’t recommend waiting until you are over 35 to increase your chances of doing
Every year that you wait past age 35 actually reduces your chances of
getting pregnant at all, so waiting until you are older is definitely not an
Folic acid is normally prescribed to all pregnant women during their
first trimester of pregnancy to prevent neural tube defects in the newborn.
Besides the prevention of brain and spine deformation in the foetus, folic acid may be given to women who
wish to try for twins.
Folic acid may be taken in tablet form and one tablet a
day or as per your doctor’s advice.
#2 Zinc for the dads
Zinc supplements may help in conceiving twins if
taken by men.
Zinc increases sperm motility and can build stronger sperm,
resulting in more chances for multiple sperm
to penetrate into more than one egg.
Zinc supplements may be taken if tolerated, but
zinc-rich sources can also help.
Some examples of zinc-rich sources include oysters,
crabs, cashews, chickpeas, green leafy vegetables etc.
#3 Sweet potatoes
Sweet potatoes are a good source of vitamins
especially B6 and C, which are good stimuli for ovulation.
sweet potatoes in your diet can increase your chance of conceiving twins by
#4 Eat and drink sources of phytoestrogen
Another root vegetable called the cassata, also
known as the yucca, may also increase your chances.
Women from Nigeria who have
some of the highest rates of twin births in the world eat lots of cassata.
The peelings from this plant are high in phytoestrogen
which can help you to release multiple eggs. Some experts believe this is the
superfood of multiple birthing mums.
Other sources of phytoestrogen include beans,
lentils, rice, bran, soy products, berries, apples, carrots, pomegranates,
seeds, oats, and barley.
Women who breastfeed a child while trying to
conceive for another baby are found to have a higher chance of resulting in a twin
During breastfeeding, the hormones required for ovulation are higher
Therefore if you are breastfeeding your baby
and trying for another you may end up having twins.
Then you might have 3 within 18 months which is a
handful, so be prepared if you decide to try this method of increasing your
It is very common these days for women over 35
years of age to try fertility drugs such as clomiphene citrate (Clomid).
Fertility drugs give 75% chances of
They work by upping the
hyperstimulation of ovulation and can result in the release of more than one egg.
often results in multiple pregnancies
than the incidence that happens through natural conception. This involves procedures
which stimulate ovulation with folic acid, clomiphene citrate andother pregnancy hormones.
IVF also very often involves the implantation of
more than one embryo at a time, because of the high risk of losing any of them.
Through this, many women end up having multiple embryos survive and carry
twins, multiples and even more babies to term.
#8 Magnesium & Calcium
Magnesium and calcium are somehow found beneficial
in conceiving twins however the evidence supporting this is limited.
Increasing your intake of dairy may help as there
is some evidence that the proteins in dairy can up your likelihood of releasing
#9 Try straight after going off the birth
If you have been taking
the birth control pill for some years which regulates your cycle, you might
have more of a chance of conceiving twins in the first few months after coming
off the pill.
As your body adjusts to its normal hormone production levels it
has a higher chance of releasing multiple eggs.
#10 Gain weight
It has been reported that women within a healthy
weight range have a higher chance of conceiving twins than women who are
Apparently also women who have BMI of 30 or over have more tendencies
to conceive twins.
We do not, however, recommend increasing your
weight to dangerous levels to try for twins, as again you are more likely to
affect your ability to conceive at all than
result in a multiple pregnancy.
#11 Having more kids
If she has already had more than 2 children, the
women’s body becomes used to increased
ovulation and may cause a release of more than one egg.
Women who have a big
family have more chances of having twins.
Some modern myths – things that won’t increase
your chances of having twins
there is some limited evidence that sexual position may affect whether you
conceive a boy or girl (and this evidence is very limited), there is no
information that any particular sexual position will increase your chances of
on your head or lying on your back with your feet in the air does not help your
chances of conceiving twins.
people say that if you have very bad
morning sickness then it is a sign that you are carrying twins. This is a myth,
there is no evidence to support this theory.
you don’t have the necessary genetics then there might only be little things
that you can do to help things along.
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