Under normal circumstances, one set of twins is conceived for every 89 pregnancies, making your chances of giving birth to twins somewhat low. There are two types of twins, fraternal and identical, each of which is developed in a different way. It is much more common to give birth to fraternal twins than identical twins.
Can You Increase the Chance of Conceiving Twins?
Twins are conceived when an abnormality occurs in the pregnancy. Identical twins are created when the fertilized egg divides sometime early on in the pregnancy, while you conceive fraternal twins when two eggs are released during ovulation and then fertilized. There are a few factors that can naturally increase your chances of having twins during your pregnancy.
- Ethnicity - Thiscan have a strong influence on your likelihood to have twins. Asian women have a very low chance of producing twins, while African women tend to have a much higher chance of having twins than many other ethnic groups.
- Your weight\height - Women who are heavier also have a higher chance of giving birth to twins than those who are thinner. Along these lines, women who are well nourished are more likely to produce twins than those who consume a poor diet that does not contain the necessary nutrients to produce a healthy child. It has also been found that taller women have a better chance of conceiving twins than those who are shorter.
- Age - Those who try to have children when they are older have a much higher chance of developing twins than those who start trying for children when they are younger. As women age, they produce more of the follicle stimulating hormone or FSH which allows the ovaries to start preparing an egg for ovulation. The more of this hormone that is present in your body, the more likely it is that your body will produce multiple eggs during ovulation which can result in a multiple pregnancy if they are both fertilized.
- Family history - If twins run in your family there is a much higher likelihood that you will have twins yourself. Some scientists believe that some families pass along a twin gene that increases the chances of twins developing during pregnancy. This may have something to do with the way the reproductive system is structured or the way the DNA divides in the eggs or sperm in these families.
How to Conceive Twins Naturally
While you will ultimately not be able to control how many babies your pregnancy produces, there are a few steps you can take which may increase your chances of having twins.
- Increase your folic acid intake- Taking a folic acid supplement has been found to increase a woman's chance of conceiving twins. This supplement also helps prevent neural tube defects when combined with a multi-vitamin which helps ensure that any babies that you conceive will be healthy and less likely to suffer from defects.
- Eat dairy products and wild yams- Eating dairy products has also been linked to an increase in multiple pregnancies. Women who regularly eat dairy products have been found to be up to five times more likely to give birth to twins than vegan or vegetarian women who did not consumed these products. Some scientists believe that it is not necessarily the dairy products that are increasing these occurrences of multiple pregnancies but the growth hormones that tend to be in milk in countries like the United States.Eating wild yams can also increase your chances of developing twins. Chemicals in the wild yam can over-stimulate the ovaries which can result in more than one egg being dropped during ovulation. This may be why the likelihood of having twins is more likely in African cultures which frequently consume this substance as part of their ethnic diet.
- Use birth control pills- Birth control pills can also play a role in helping you conceive twins. When women stop using birth control pills it takes some time for the body to find its natural rhythm again, which can cause the body to have a higher hormone flux than normal during the first one or two cycles a woman experiences. If you manage to conceive during this time, there is a much larger chance that two eggs will be available in the uterus, which can lead to the conception of fraternal twins.
- Increase the length of breastfeed - If you have already had one child you can increase the length in which you breastfeed if you want to increase your chances of having twins later. Studies have shown that women who are breastfeeding while they try to conceive are nine times more likely to conceive twins with their next pregnancy.
- Have more children- Having many children also increased the chances that you will have twins. The more times you become pregnant, the easier it is for your body to produce multiple eggs during ovulation, which can increase your chances of conceiving twins.
- Location and timing of birth- Location and timing may also seem to have something to do with the likelihood that twins will develop. In the United States, those living in Nebraska, New Jersey, Connecticut and Massachusetts are more likely to have multiple births than those living in warmer states. The number of twins born each year also increases in July and decreases in January. Scientists believe this might have something to do with the amount of daylight available in these locations and time periods, which can increase the secretion of the Follicle Stimulating Hormone.