7 factors that increase your chances of having a twin
Congratulations, you’re pregnant! What is the probability that you are carrying twins?
Or perhaps you’re not yet pregnant, but you’re wondering “How do I get pregnant with twins”
There are two types of twins; Identical and Fraternal twins:
1.Identical / Monozygotic twins: They are formed when a single female egg is fertilized with a single male sperm. Sometimes during the early division stages of the zygote, one or more cells break off and grow separately from the original zygote. They carry the same DNA and are identical. Because monozygotic twins come from the same fertilized egg, they are always going to be of the same sex and will look extremely similar to one another.
2.Fraternal / Non-identical / Dizygotic twins: They are formed when the mother releases two separate eggs at the same time. Each egg is fertilized and both grow separately in the female uterus. Fraternal twins are basically the same as having two siblings born at the same time. These types of twins are more common than identical twins, particularly with the increase in IVF procedures. They can be of the same or different gender.
Factors that increase chances of twin pregnancy
Every woman has about the same chance of having identical twins as the incidence of identical twins is not hereditary. However some factors that increase the chance of having fraternal twins are;
1.Family history (hereditary)
If you are one of a set of twin or someone in your nuclear family has had twin pregnancy your chances of having twins is also high.
All over the world, it is known that the Yoruba tribe of south west Nigeria has the highest records of twin pregnancy. The highest incidence of twin pregnancy has been recorded in Igboora located in Oyo state, Nigeria. This has been linked to the women eating a lot of yam. Yam is high in phytoestrogens, which are known to increase FSH (follicle-stimulating hormone) levels and result in the release of more than one egg.
Twins tend to occur more commonly in women who are tall or are large . Women who are obese and have a body mass index of 30 or greater have a 1.5 times the chances of having twins when compared to women who have a normal body mass index.
Diet seems to play a role in who has twins and who doesn’t. Women who eat fatty foods tend to be more likely to have twins. This may be because we need fat to have a healthy pregnancy and those who eat more fat are more prepared to have twins. Fat also affects the reproductive hormones.
5.Number of Pregnancies
The more times you are pregnant, the greater your chances of having twins. The reason is unknown.
It has been established that women who are older have a higher chance of getting fraternal twins. This is because women, especially over the age of 35, make more FSH, increasing the chances of releasing more than one egg. When the FSH level is increasing in this way, the overall fertility level is decreasing. This means that, while you have a lesser chance of getting pregnant, the chances of having twins increases.
Fertility treatments especially IVF, increase your chance of having twin pregnancy. Also, if you take certain fertility drugs, such as Clomid, you increase the chances of having twins because you may release more than one egg at a time. The chance of having more than one baby if you take fertility drugs is between 10 – 20%.