Multiplying Multiples!

In the past two decades, there has actually been a dramatic rise in the number of twin and multiple births. Since 1980, the number of twin births has increased by 74%.

The number of higher-order multiple births has also skyrocketed, with triplets being born 400 times more often! This dramatic increase in twin births seems to be attributable to the more frequent and successful use of fertility drugs.

Factors that Influence Twins

Twins can occur naturally in any woman at any time. However, there are certain factors that increase your chances of having twins. These factors include:

  • Family History: Having a maternal history of twins or other multiple births increases your chance of becoming pregnant with twins considerably. 
  • Cultural Background: People of African American descent are more likely to have twins or multiple births. People of Asian or Hispanic descent are less likely to have twins. 
  • Age: Your chances of having twins increases as you grow older. Women produce more ovulation-stimulating hormone as they age, increasing your chance of releasing more than one egg during ovulation. The chance of having twins rises to 4% between the ages of 30 and 34, and to 5% between the ages of 35 and 39. 
  • Previous Twins: If you’ve already had twins, it is more likely that you will have another twin pregnancy. 
  • Previous Pregnancies: Women who have had four or more previous pregnancies are the most likely to have twins. 
  • Fertility Drugs: Taking fertility drugs or undergoing fertility treatments can significantly increase your chances of having twins or another type of multiple birth. In some cases, women can increase their chances of having twins up to 20%. 
  • Weight Gain: A study by the American College of Obstetrics and Gynecology linked the recent rise in multiple births with the steady rise of obesity in North America. Women with a body mass index (BMI) over 30 are more likely to have twins than those in the suggested BMI range of 19 to 25.


Table of Contents
1. Increasing Your Chances of Twins
2. Trying for twins?
3. How to have twins
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