What are your Chances of Having Twins without a Family History?

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Over the past three decades, the number of twins that have been born has risen over 75%. However, while triplets and multiples quadrupled in the eighties and nineties, they have since begun to decline in numbers.

1. Why is there an increase?

It is believed that the cause for the rise in the number of twins is due to a couple of reasons. For starters, women are starting to wait until they are older to become pregnant. As we age our bodies go through hormone changes and speed up the process that our body goes through to release eggs. This means that more than one egg can be released at the time and it is possible for more than one fertilized egg to implant into the uterus.


Another reason that the number of twins has risen is because there are more women who are willing to use fertility drugs or assisted reproductive technology. The chances of having twins or multiple babies through participation in these programs gives women a better chance of having twins when they conceive. However, since technology is beginning to advance, the number of twins are being born to women who have fertility treatments is starting to decline as the treatment methods are refined.

2. What are my chances of having twins?

In general, the likelihood that a mother will have twins has held steady ever since it has been measured throughout the world. This number is one out of 285 and indicates the number of women who can expect to have identical twins when they conceived. One difference between identical twins and fraternal twins is that the chance of having identical twins is not affected by the history of the family.

Fertility-drugs-have-also-been-shown-to-increase-the-chances-of-having-twins-because-they-stimulate-the-ovaries-to-release-several-eggs-at-one-timeFertility drugs have also been shown to increase the chances of having twins because they stimulate the ovaries to release several eggs at one time. For women who undergo in vitro fertilization, the chances of having more than one child is about 20 to 40%, depending on the number of embryos that are inserted into the uterus.

Intrauterine insemination, however, does not increase the chances of having twins in itself, but many women also take fertility drugs along with this method, which can increase their chances of having twins.

Fertility drugs and other treatments will only increase your chances of having fraternal twins because this means that two eggs are fertilized by two different sperm. For those who have identical twins, there are some certain treatments that can increase the chances, but it is more likely left up to chance instead.

3. What are some other factors?

While it is likely that having twins in the family can increase your chances of having fraternal twins, it is not absolutely necessary for them to be present in your family line in order to become pregnant with twins.

For example, some women may have twins if they are over the age of 35 when they decide to become pregnant. Statistically, women who have reached this age have a better chance of having twins because of the way their body works and the amount of follicle-stimulating hormone that is produced in comparison to when they were younger.

Statistically-women-who-is-35-years-old-have-a-better-chance-of-having-twins-because-of-the-way-their-body-works-and-the-amount-of-follicle-stimulating-hormone-that-is-producedIt is also more likely that you will have twins if you have had a set of twins in the past. In fact, it is twice as likely for a woman to have twins in the future if she has had them from a previous pregnancy.

Another item that can increase the chances of twins being conceived is a greater number of pregnancies. Research has shown that the more pregnancies that a woman has, the more likely it is for her to conceive twins at some point in her life.

Race and body type are also items that affect the number of twins being born to family. It is more common for African-Americans to have twins than it is for Hispanics and Asians; and larger and taller women are more likely to have twins and those who are small.

4. Conclusion

When twin run in the family, it can increase the chances of a woman having fraternal twins. However, the occurrence of identical twins is not affected by the family history and many women find themselves pregnant with twins even if there are no other sets in their entire family history.

What are your Chances of Having Twins without a Family History?, 3.0 out of 5 based on 1 rating

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Regina Ledoux, RN, CNM

Ms. Ledoux began her career as an ObGyn nurse practitioner prior to becoming a practicing midwife in the Santa Cruz community. Working together with ObGyn physicians in her own practice, she has over 20 years experience in women's health, pregnancy and childbirth.