Most couples usually plan to have a baby or two sometime in their future. And others, well, they just get surprised by one! Regardless, I’m sure most parents can agree that there’s nothing more rewarding or wholesome than having a kid to love and care for. However, when it comes to twins, double the fun most definitely means double the trouble while trying to conceive them!
Conceiving twins can be especially hard if you’re facing fertility problems or lacking a history of twins in your family. However, genetics and family history aside, multiple factors weigh in to increase your chances of conceiving twins including medical procedures, fertility drugs, age, weight, and diet. Keep on reading because we’ve got details for all of them!
What Medical treatments that help with conceiving twins?
#1 The IVF treatment
If you’re having trouble getting pregnant in the first place due to fertility problems, then IVF is the treatment for you! In IVF or In-vitro fertilization, the fertilization of eggs and sperms takes place inside a petri dish. Once the embryos are formed, those with the highest predicted chances of survival are then transferred to the mother’s uterus for implantation.
With IVF treatment, it’s a common practice to transfer multiple embryos back into the mother for a higher chance of embryo implantation into the uterus. This also increases the chances of more than one embryo implanting itself and developing into a baby which increases the likelihood of twins. However, since different embryos will get attached to the uterus, the twins formed through this method are mostly fraternal rather than identical.
#2 The use of fertility drugs
Fertility drugs are commonly used by women whose ovaries have trouble ovulating, aka releasing eggs. The two main fertility drugs which can be used to help with pregnancies are Clomiphene and Gonadotropin. These drugs promote the production of multiple egg cells which increases the chances of twin pregnancies.
- Clomiphene – (Buy only on Doctor’s prescription)
Clomiphene is a drug that is taken orally and works to induce ovulation. It is a prescription drug that is usually supposed to be taken once a day during your treatment. According to research, about 5- 12% of pregnancies aided with this drug lead to twin pregnancies.
Gonadotropin is a drug that is given in the form of injections consisting of FSH and LH. FSH and LH are both hormones that stimulate egg cell maturation. In simple words, the more FSH and LH you have in your body, the more likely it is that multiple eggs will mature and be released during ovulation. Additionally, Gonadotropin injections have been proven to be significantly more effective than Clomiphene when it comes to twin pregnancies.
At what age should you get pregnant to conceive twins?
It’s a given fact that your fertility does decrease as you get older. However, around the age of 30-38, your chances of getting pregnant with twins are increased significantly. This is because the older you get, the more FSH is needed by your body to produce egg cells. Hence, the production of FSH is increased which in turn increases the chances of more eggs being released.
However, do keep in mind that this is a short window of time since your fertility will decrease the closer you get to the menopause phase.
Do height and body weight affect your chances at a twin pregnancy?
As superficial as it may seem, research has shown that your body weight and height can indeed affect your chances at a twin pregnancy. Generally, the consensus is that taller and heavier women are more likely to conceive twins than shorter and leaner women.
This is because, with an increased amount of fat in your body, estrogen production is also increased. Since estrogen is one of the main hormones that affect ovulation, with more estrogen, your body is more likely to release multiple egg cells! When it comes to height, scientists assume that it’s probably because taller people have more IGF (a hormone that helps in ovulation) in their bodies.
Do your genetics, ethnicity, and family history affect your chances of having twins?
In short, yes they do. It’s no surprise that if you have a long history of twins in your family, you’re more likely to conceive them too in comparison to someone who doesn’t. This is simply because you’re more likely to carry that particular gene.
However, people of certain ethnicities (black and white people) do have a higher chance of conceiving twins than others (Hispanic and Asian ethnicities). So if you’re really desperate for twins, try picking a partner wisely!
Does your diet and breastfeeding help with conceiving twins?
While there’s no hard and fast rule for this, eating certain foods like yam, grains, rice, dairy products, and foods rich in folic acid, etc. can increase your chances of having twins because they promote fertility. Additionally, you’re more likely to conceive twins if you conceive during the period that you’ve been nursing.
This is because breastfeeding mothers have increased levels of IGF (a hormone that helps in ovulation) in their bodies which helps release more than one egg. However, conceiving after breastfeeding can be tricky business since your hormones are generally all over the place!
What’s the difference between identical and fraternal twins?
As the name goes, identical twins are called so because they look alike. This is because these twins are formed from one egg when a single zygote splits into two. Hence, identical twins mostly share similar genes.
On the other hand, fraternal twins are formed when 2 different eggs are fertilized separately. This leads to different genetic makeup for each baby which means both can have different genders, features, etc. Fraternal twins only share a birthday and parents whereas identical twins share much more including a placenta!
It’s important to note that the situation isn’t always black and white. For example, if you’re tall but have health issues and fertility problems, your chances of conceiving twins will be significantly lesser than someone shorter but healthier with a family history of twins. The number of babies you have is definitely out of your hands but I hope the above tips help give you an idea of things you can try to conceive twins!
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