Getting Pregnant with Twins

Posted by on Dec 2, 2018 in Gender & Multiple Birth |

Getting Pregnant with Twins

Contrary to some urban myths, there is not a sexual position that will increase your chances of getting pregnant with twins. In actual fact, most of the factors that can lead to twins are entirely out of your control.
Identical twins occur when one fertilized egg splits into two, soon after fertilization. Each of the two embryos then develops into a baby, and because they came from the same egg-and-sperm combination, they have exactly the same genes and are exactly alike. This happens spontaneously in nature, and there is no way for you to cause identical twins to occur.

There are pregnancies that will have a higher likelihood of identical twins, and those are pregnancies in which one or both of the parents have identical twins in the family. There is no single gene that has been identified as the cause of identical twins, but there is a measurable genetic predisposition for identical twins among people whose families have them. Having said that, it is also entirely possible for a couple to have identical twins when neither of them has a single known twin in the family tree. In short, identical twins are entirely up to nature, and not a matter you can influence or control.

Fraternal twins, on the other hand, occur through a different mechanism. In a case of fraternal twinning, two separate eggs are fertilized by two separate sperm cells, and the two separate individuals grow together at the same time in the womb. Because fraternal twins are dependent on two eggs being present at the time of fertilization, any environmental or genetic factor that might cause a woman to ovulate “extra” can increase the chance of resulting twins.

There are some factors that are more frequently present in occurrences of fraternal twins, and therefore may be causative factors. If fraternal twins run in the woman’s family, there may be a genetic predisposition. (In this case, only the prospective mother’s family history matters, because it is her genes that would be playing a role in the release of more than one egg at a time.) Heavier women, specifically those with a body mass index of thirty or more, are more likely to have fraternal twins. Women who conceive later in life, especially above the age of forty, are more likely to have fraternal twins. A woman who has already had twins is more likely than the average to have twins again in a subsequent pregnancy.

If you are trying to have twins, these factors may not be helpful to you, with the possible exception of the weight, if you are willing to put on extra pounds for the chance that it might make the difference. There is another factor, however, that you can influence, and that is the use of fertility drugs that are designed to stimulate the release of eggs from the ovaries. In most cases, these drugs are not being used specifically to produce a pregnancy of twins, but to increase the woman’s chance of conceiving at all. (That said, many of the pregnancies that do result will be multiple births, because of the stimulated release of more than one egg.)

If you are not taking fertility drugs, you can achieve a similar effect with home remedies that affect your own hormone levels. Consuming large amounts of yam, and milk products can measurably change your hormonal balance in favor of the ovulation-stimulating hormone, thereby increasing your chance of having twins.

Short of an in vitro fertilization and implantation of multiple embryos, however, there is no way you can ensure a multiple birth—and even the IVF with several embryos could result in only one implantation.