If you want to improve your chances of conceiving twins, first understand how they happen.
There are 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 occur in women who use fertility treatments. Non-identical twins, also known as dizygotic twins, develop when two eggs are fertilized by two sperm. They are unique and do not share genetic composition or a 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 is 3%, i.e., 3 in 100 among the general population. Figures also show that there has been an increase of almost 61% since the early 1980s. Much more 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 or Heredity:
If you are a twin or if twins run in your family, you are more likely to have twins. However, if your partner has a twin or twins in 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 are a twin, the probability of having twins is high. You will have higher chances of hyperovulation (releasing two eggs during the ovulation process). A few specific genes combine with hyperovulation and thus increase the frequency of non-identical twins.
2. Ethnicity or Race:
Your ethnicity 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 twins. Also, heavier women have higher chances than thinner women. Women who have a well-nourished diet have a higher probability of producing twins than those who have a reduced or low-fat diet.
A research study published by the American College of Obstetrics and Gynecology states that the increasing rates of multiple births are due to increased rates of obesity. It was found 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 over 35 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 eggs are released during ovulation, thereby resulting in multiple fetuses.
5. More pregnancies:
If you have had multiple pregnancies before, there is a high chance of producing twins. The probability of having twins increases with the 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 with 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 (from growth hormone-treated cows) that contribute to 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 of having twins because they consume it as a part of their ethnic diet. The Yoruba tribe in West Africa has the highest twinning rate.
Other protein-rich foods with ovulation-stimulating properties are tofu, soy isoflavones, whole wheat, and whole grains.
3. Stop birth control pills:
Birth control pills play a pivotal role in helping you conceive twins naturally. When you stop taking the birth control medication, your body takes some time to find its natural rhythm. It causes the body to have a higher hormone flux than normal. If you try conceiving around this time, there will be a greater chance of having twins.
4. Pregnancy while breastfeeding:
If you are still breastfeeding your toddler and get pregnant again, you are more likely to have twins. Your body produces a higher percentage of prolactin during the breastfeeding phase, which increases your chances of conceiving twins.
5. Have your partner eat zinc-rich foods:
Foods rich in zinc, like green leafy vegetables, oysters, bread, and seeds, stimulate sperm production. It, therefore, improves the probability of fertilizing more than one egg.
6. Have space between pregnancies:
To elevate your chances of conceiving twins, have a sufficient gap between your pregnancies. Quick conceptions hamper your chances of having twins.