How To Increase Your Chances of Having Twins
I make clothes as my offline job and one of my clients is a mom to twins. Whenever I make clothes for her little girls I can’t help but wish I could have a set myself.
Twins are just so cute and I doubt many people see them without awwing and aahing.
Luckily, there is a possibility for anyone who wants twins to have them.
Yes, some couples will naturally conceive and birth twins without trying wishing for one, but there are those of us that will have to put in just a little effort to see this dream come true.
First off, if you have these characteristics, then you are among the first set of luckier women.
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Factors That Increases Your Chances of Having Twins
1) You Come from a Family of Twins
One of the factors that increase your chances of having twins is having twins already in your lineage.
Now, while this doesn’t exactly guarantee you will have twins, it does increase your chances a great deal.
Also, these twins have to be from your family, not your partner as having a twin in a man’s lineage doesn’t count. However, if the man goes on to have a daughter (s) then this high chance returns.
So…as a woman with a family history of twins or you are a twin yourself you should go right ahead to try for one yourself.
2) Being 35 Years and Older
Older women, 35 years and older also have an increased chance of having twins.
This happens because at this stage your body is more likely to release more than one egg during each ovulation cycle, increasing the chances of multiple sperms fertilizing these eggs.
Women over thirty-five years have four times the chances of conceiving twins than younger women.
3) Taller Women
I’m not exactly tall, being five feet four and all and I guess this would be a strike for me and every other woman out there of moderate height.
If you are taller, then you have an advantage as taller women, who are five feet five inches and above also have a higher chance of having twins and other multiple pregnancies
4) Being of Certain Decent
Black women and Non-Hispanic white women also have a slightly higher chance of having twins than Hispanic women.
Types of Twins
Even though we mostly see them as just twins, twins are actually different
There are two sets of twins you can have:
- Identical Twins
- Fraternal Twins
Identical twins are twins that get formed from one fertilized egg. After fertilization, this egg splits into two, resulting in these two identical babies.
They have identical DNA, are monozygotic, and share the same placenta during gestation. They are also solely of one gender i.e both boys or both girls.
Identical twins also have an inexplicable bond that can make you green with envy.
Fraternal twins, on the other hand, are two separate eggs fertilized by two different eggs.
They look alike, the way siblings do, but are not as identical as identical twins. They are also dizygotic as they have different DNA.
Fraternal twins are more likely to be conceived when you release two eggs during your ovulation.
The twin gene in a woman’s family history could cause her to hyper-ovulate resulting in a multiple fertilization and birth.
How To Increase Your Chances of Having Twins
I’m currently trying for a set of twins myself. Luckily, I already tick good on most of the factors. However, I’m leaving no stones unturned.
Here are six ways to increase your chances of having twins:
1) Fertility Drugs
The fertility drugs that will be mentioned here are prescription-only medications, which means they aren’t readily available at pharmacies. They should only be taken on your doctor’s prescription and supervision especially because of the side effects.
Here are fertility drugs that are known to be effective:
- Clomiphene Citrate
Clomiphene citrate, also known as Clomid, is an ovulatory stimulant. It stimulates the ovaries to release more than one egg, which could then get fertilized by two different sperms, resulting in fraternal twins.
Taking Clomid increases your chances of having twins by as much as 10%, and one interesting information you want to get from this fact is that there are 100 twins per 1,000 births by Clomid.
How Should Clomiphene Citrate be Used?
Clomiphene is taken orally and you take it once a day for five days, starting from the fifth day of your cycle. However, it does comes with some mild and sometimes some slightly severe side effects which is the main reason they are prescription-only.
Some of the side effects you can expect to notice include headaches, breast discomfort, abnormal vaginal bleeding, flushing, and an upset stomach.
Severe symptoms include blurred and or double vision, weight gain, stomach swelling, shortness of breath, and stomach pain.
Letrozole is another ovulatory drug that is just as similar as Clomid and also doubles as a treatment for PCOS.
It stimulates the release of a mature egg in women with anovulation (the absence of ovulation) and for women who ovulate normally, it stimulates the release of multiple eggs.
Like Clomiphene, Letrozole also increases your chances of having twins by up to 10% when taken.
These are injectable fertility medications also used to stimulate ovulation. However, unlike the first two medications, taking this medication causes your ovaries to produce a lot more eggs; over five.
This fertility drug definitely has a huge edge over the previous two, especially since it boosts your chances of having twins by 25 -30%.
Beyond that, the chances of having other multiple births like triplets, quads, and the likes are quite high.
2) Fertility Supplements
So…while most fertility drugs are to be taken by you, the woman to boost ovulation, fertility supplements don’t segregate this way.
If your partner is feeling slightly left out or he wants to show a little more commitment to your fertility journey, then taking one or more fertility supplements would be a good way to start and there are a few he can take.
Zinc is one of such supplements to take. This supplement increases sperm production and also makes for stronger sperms, thereby increasing the chances of these fertilizing more than one egg.
In place of zinc supplement, your partner could opt for zinc-rich foods like oysters, green leafy vegetables, shellfish, seeds, nuts, and eggs.
On your part, supplements you can take to boosts your chances include
- Folic Acid: Which is known to increase your odds by as much as 40%
- Progesterone: Which strengthens the linen of your uterus.
3) Certain Foods
Certain foods are great for boosting your chances of conceiving twins. One of such foods is wild yam. This food is believed to contain a compound pytoestrogen, that stimulates the ovaries to release more than one egg per cycle.
Another food you want to include in your diet is dairy. A study by Gary Steinman found that consuming more dairy products is increases your odds a great deal.
A few studies have revealed that women who were actively trying to get pregnant while still breastfeeding have up to 9 times the chances of conceiving twins.
5) Going Off the Pills
So going off the pills might not seem like a very effective method to try for a set of twins and to be honest, it isn’t a foolproof method, however, it does come with some possibility and you want to start trying immediately you go off the pills. It takes about a month or two for your hormones to adjust and get back to the way things were. This can make them overstimulate your ovaries, prompting them to release more than one egg.
IVF is yet another way to boost your chances of having twins.
If you didn’t already know what this fertility method is, let me give a summary so you understand better why this method is a sure deal for having twins.
IVF or In Vitro Fertilization is a form of assisted reproduction and luckily is classified as the most successful one.
It entails a step-by-step process where a woman’s ovaries are monitored and stimulated to release mature eggs. These eggs are then collected (retrieved) and fertilized with sperm outside the woman’s body.
This is where it gets interesting…
Upon fertilization, the egg, now an embryo is incubated for up to five and later reintroduced into your uterus on days 2, 3, 4, or 5.
Now, the longer the embryo stays in the incubator, the higher the chances of producing twins.
The chance of this embryo splitting into two to produce identical twins increases by 1-2% if the fertilized egg stays incubated for up to three days.
This percentage goes up further to 3 -4% if it stays incubated for five days.
The best part…
Transfer two embryos and the chances of having twins (fraternal) go all the way up to 60%!
It doesn’t get higher than this! There is no 100% chance of conceiving twins. 60% is as high as it gets and this is also great news.
Why Do People Do IVF?
Besides being the fertility method with the highest chance of producing twins, IVF is also an option for women just looking to conceive.
Women with blocked fallopian tubes or tubes damaged from Pelvic Inflammatory Disease (PID) or prior reproductive surgeries who still want to experience motherhood find they can turn to IVF to realize this.
Mature eggs retrieved from the woman and fertilized are put back into her, in a process that takes around three weeks or more.