8 Ways to Increase Your Opportunities of Conceiving Twins

image001Nowadays, many couples want to have twins and are willing to do whatever it takes to increase the odds in their favor. Besides, there is nothing wrong with dreaming that one day you will also have twins. While it is a fact that you do not get to choose who gets to be in your family, the case is slightly different when it comes to conceiving twins. If you come from a family that has a history of hyper ovulation (the release of more than a single egg when ovulating), it helps because your chance of having twins increases.

How Common Are Twins?

Back in 2010, there was one birth of twins in every thirty births that happened in the USA. Moreover, 1 in every 726 births was for triplets or a higher order of children in a single birth.

The birth rate of twins has risen by 76% over the last thirty years. What is the cause of this rise in births of multiples? Part of it was because some women started having children when they were a little older. The older you get, the more likely your hormonal changes cause the release of more than one egg at a go. Therefore, releasing more than a single egg means that you are more likely to have more than one baby.

The high rise in the number of multiple births was also caused by the use of ART (Assisted Reproductive Technology) and fertility drugs, which help women conceive. These treatments increase your chances of conceiving multiple babies at one time. However, this increase in twin births has slowed in the last decade mostly because fertility drugs are more refined.

In the meantime, the likelihood of a woman giving birth to identical twins (when an egg divides to two) is about 1 in 285 births. This rate has remained steady for decades and is amazingly constant globally.

What Factors Can Affect the Chances of Having Twins?

1. Fertility Treatment

The most common factor is using fertility treatment. Fertility drugs help to stimulate the ovaries thus increasing your chances of releasing more than one egg during ovulation. If you have IVF (in vitro fertilization), you have a 20-40% chance of birthing more than one child. This, however, depends on the number of embryos you have placed in the embryo.

There is also intrauterine insemination (IUI) which is when a syringe is used to place the sperms in your uterus. This fertility treatment is the only one that does not increase your chances of giving birth to multiple babies. Even so, there are women who undergo IUI and also take fertility drugs to increase their chances of having twins or more babies.

Treatments like fertility drugs primarily increase a person’s odds of giving birth to fraternal twins (two eggs fertilized by two sperms). Nevertheless, there is evidence that women who undergo some treatments like IVF have fairly higher chances of giving birth to identical twins.

2. Other Factors

Factors

Descriptions

Heredity

If there are twins in your family, or you’re a twin yourself, you are more likely to give birth to twins.

Age

Your chance of having fraternal twins or more babies increases as you get older. A woman over 35 years produces more FSH (follicle stimulating hormone) than a younger woman. Women with more FSH can also release more than one egg for ovulation in one cycle.

History of twins

If you had previously given birth to fraternal twins, there is likelihood that you might have another pair in your future pregnancies.

The number of pregnancies

If you’ve had many pregnancies before, your chance of having twins increases.

Race

Twins are less common in Asians and Hispanics and more common in African Americans.

Type of body

Tall and large women are more likely to have twins than small women.

How to Increase the Chances of Having Twins

1. Taking Folic Acid Supplement

One study, from Australia, showed that some women are more likely to get pregnant with twins if they took folic acid before conceiving. However, some studies have given contradictory results. Nonetheless, folic acid is helpful in preventing neural tube defects, so taking folic acid is always a good idea even if you do not want to have twins.

2. Add Some Weight

According to a 2005 study published in Obstetrics & Gynecology, overweight women were more likely to give birth to twins. Likewise, tall women also had a higher chance of giving birth to twins.

3. Consuming Dairy Products

According to a Long Island Medical Doctor known for his research on pregnant women and multiple births, women who consumed dairy products especially milk from hormone treated cows have a five times higher chance of conceiving twins. According to the same study, vegans have a less likelihood of conceiving twins.

4. Continue Breastfeeding

If you want to have twins and are still breastfeeding, do not rush into weaning your little one just yet. According to a study conducted on twins, if you conceive when breastfeeding, your chance of conceiving twins is increased by nine times.

5. Try Conceiving the Moment You’ve Stopped Taking Birth Control Pills

If you have been taking the pills for six months and then stop, your body will need about two cycles to get back on track. This in turn sees you receive excess hormone stimulation. This consequently causes the release of more than one egg increasing your chances of having more than one of them fertilized.

6. Eat Wild Yams

Even though it is not completely clear whether this actually works, there is no harm in trying. Wild yams hyper-stimulate your ovaries and this might cause release of more than a single egg when you ovulate.

7. Have a Big Family

This has been said to naturally increase a person’s chance of giving birth to twins. In other words, the more times you conceive, the higher your chance of conceiving twins is.

8. Conceive When You Are Older

Even though older women have low fertility rates, they are more likely to conceive twins. They have high levels of FSH which cause the release of more than one egg.

Click on this video for more advice from an OB/GYN on how you could increase your chances of having twins: