Increasing Your Chances of Twins
If you are eager to add to your family, you may be hoping that your next pregnancy will be twins. After all, there is nothing like having two little babies at once! There has long been a fascination with twins and multiple births, and many couples would cherish the chance to welcome twins into the world. If you are longing for twins, than you may be wondering if there is anything you can do to increase your chances of conceiving multiples.
What Are Twins?
Most of us are familiar with the concept of twins – when two babies are born at once – but few of us actually know how twins develop. Typically, a woman releases one egg from her ovaries during ovulation. This egg is then fertilized by one sperm from her partner, and this creates an embryo. This embryo then continues to divide until a baby is formed. Twins develop when there is a change in the regular process of fertilization or division.
Identical twins form when there is a change in the regular process of embryo division. If after fertilization, the embryo splits into two, identical twins are created. Identical twins share 100% of their DNA, which means they will share the same sex and appearance. Identical twins are also called monozygotic twins.
Sometimes a woman releases two eggs from her ovaries instead of just one. When these eggs are fertilized by two different sperm, two fetuses develop. These are known as fraternal twins. Fraternal twins share 50% of their DNA and, unlike identical twins, do not necessarily look similar in appearance. Fraternal twins, sometime referred to as dizygotic twins can be of the opposite sex.
How Common are Twins?
Twin pregnancies are actually more common then most people think. About 3% of babies born in the United States are twins or higher-order multiple births (such as triplets). This means that every woman has about a 3% chance of naturally conceiving and giving birth to a set of twins. Fraternal twins are much more common than identical twins, with identical twins accounting for only 0.4% of all births. Higher-order multiple births are much less common, with triplets occurring naturally in only 1 out of 8,000 births.