Many couples trying to conceive hope to have twins. Their reasons vary, from ensuring that their child has a close sibling through childhood to simply wanting a large family. While multiple births occur in about 3 percent of all pregnancies each year, experts say there are some steps women can take to increase their chances of having twins. Diet, ethnicity, genetics and lifestyle all play a role in whether a woman is more apt to have twins.
Understand that the average person’s chance of having twins is about 3%.
Not so high. But you are probably not average. If you have any of the below, your chance increases. If you have a lot or all of the below, your chance increases a lot. Conversely, if you are a young, underweight female of Asian descent with no twins in the family, the chance of twinning will be extremely low.
- Having twins “in the family,” particularly on the mother’s side. If you already have twins, your chance increases at least 4x.
- Being of African descent makes the highest chance of having twins, followed by European descent. Hispanic and Asian people have the lowest chance of having twins.
- Being tall and/or well nourished or even overweight.
- Having prior pregnancies. Women with 4 or more pregnancies increase their chances of twins dramatically. It seems that the body is more likely to have twins after it knows you “can take it.” Many of the families that have a dozen children or more, show increasing numbers of twin births as they have more pregnancies.
Know that older women are less likely to GET pregnant, but if they do, they are more likely to have twins.
The older you are, the more likely you are to have twins. If you are around 40, your chance is substantially higher, around 7%. At 45, if you can get pregnant, the odds are about 17%.
- Older women are most likely to get IVF, see below. IVF also increases your chance of twinning.
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