How to conceive twins?
If you prefer having twins, rather than a single pregnancy, there are a few natural factors and medically induced factors that may assist in the process. Though there is no sure method of ensuring twins, a few situations increase the chances of multiple births.
How can you have twins by undergoing fertility treatments?
There is an increased possibility of having twins using artificial reproductive technology (ART), in vitro fertilization (IVF), and other fertility treatments — like intrauterine insemination (IUI).
Intrauterine Insemination (IUI)
This procedure involves the injection of sperm directly into the uterus. However, it is not the procedure of IUI that intensifies the probability of having twins, instead, it is the drugs that are part of this procedure that do the trick. Ovulation-stimulating medications like Clomiphene citrate (Clomid) and Letrozole (Femara) are the ‘twin creators’. They do this by enabling the body to produce more eggs and release multiple at one time. The chances of two or more getting fertilized and implanting becomes probable in this case.
Studies show that the rate of conceiving twins using medication is low – for instance, the rate of conceiving twins with Clomid was around 7.5% and consuming Femara showed a success rate of only 3.4%. However, though the above chances seem low, they are still significantly higher than trying naturally.
The rate of conceiving twins while injecting medication such as Gonadotropins is around 30% which is considered extremely high. Gonadotropins are similar to follicle-stimulating hormone (FSH) which arouses the growth of egg follicles. IUI and other fertility treatments include these injectable medications as part of the fertility treatment.
In-vitro Fertilization (IVF)
In this reproductive technology, it is not the drugs but the number of embryos transferred that increases the possibility of twins. Even though, partners may transfer a single embryo in the hope that it will split and identical twins will get reproduced, chances of this happening are quite low.
Chances of having fraternal twins are comparatively higher if the couples transfer two or more embryos. When more than one embryo implants itself and develops, you can be sure of having a twin. In this case, if one of the two embryos splits and all three implants themselves, you are going to have triplets – 2 identical and 1 fraternal. There are no certain ways to avoid or ensure this from happening.
A trusted source indicates that for women under 35, IVF with fresh embryos has a 12.1 % success rate of twin pregnancies and 9.1% twin pregnancies for women between 35 and 37. The chances of having twins goes down as the age increases.
“If trying to fall pregnant, you must visit the doctor to review your health, should track your ovulation cycle, consume folic acid, maintain a healthy weight, exercise and eat well.”
Check out our article 12 things to do when trying to fall pregnant
There are a few natural factors that may or may not be in your control, but do increase your chances of having twins.
Genetic Predisposition increases your chance of having twins
A mother’s family history does influence the chances of having twins. If you have a fraternal twin or it runs in your side of the family, chances of hyper ovulation are higher. Hyerovulation is the process of two eggs being released by the body during ovulation which fulfills the criteria for having twins.
If you are over 35 and want to have twins, your wish is more likely to come true. According to the Mayo Clinic, women over the age of 35 have a higher chance of conceiving twins. The reason for this being that during the pre-menopause period your body releases more than one egg during ovulation. This spike is also a result of surged estrogen. If more than one egg fertilizes and both implant, your age just worked in your favor.
Overweight women or women who are obese have a higher chance of conceiving twins. Increased fat in the body leads to higher levels of estrogen which further leads to overstimulation of ovaries, thus, enabling the ovaries to release two or more than two eggs.
Though being overweight may increase the chances of conceiving twins, we wouldn’t advise doing it intentionally. Obesity and an unhealthy weight puts you in the high-risk pregnancy category, so it is ideal to talk to your doctor about achieving the optimal healthy weight.
The possibility of having twins seems higher for tall women. A study that sampled women noticed that the women who had twins were almost 5 foot 5 inches as compared to women with an average of 5 foot 3.75 inches.
In 2018 a birth statistics study in the United States concludes that women of African American have a distinctly higher rate of twin pregnancies when compared with Asian and Hispanic women.
A study conducted in 2006 revealed that vegan women who don’t consume dairy products give birth to twins at 20% of the rate at which women who do consume dairy do.
The reason for this occurrence is that cows’ milk contains hormones, and when women have dairy, they could be consuming extra insulin growth hormones. This plays a role in their reproduction.
It is believed that Yams have a naturally occurring hormone called phytoestrogen that can stimulate multiple ovulations. This was observed in Southwest Nigeria which is known for the highest twin rate. Increasing yam is not a sure-shot way of having twins, but consumption of yam in no way can harm you as it is a rich source of fiber, vitamins, and minerals.
Though we have taken you through ways that can enhance twin-pregnancies, there really isn’t any sure-shot way. But if you have your heart and mindset on having twins do try some of the above-mentioned methods.
A practice that has been followed over generation is Swaddling. This involves wrapping your baby in a blanket to keep them secure. The infant’s arms and legs are ticked in tightly and the blanket envelopes them neck down. When you swaddle your baby, you are essentially giving the position of the womb to your infant.
Swaddling prevents the baby from getting startled from sounds or even no reason at all. This reflex last for about 3-6 months but can tend to prevent the baby from sleeping. Swaddling enables the baby to sleep soundly and sleep longer, giving you some extra time as well.