If you’re looking to conceive twins, there’s no surefire method. But there are certain genetic factors and medical treatments that might increase the possibility.
First of all, you need to understand that twins can occur either when two separate eggs become fertilized in the womb or when a single fertilized egg splits into two embryos.
Knowing this, here are 14 ways you can help boost your chances of having twins:
1. Being older rather than younger helps: It seems to be a twist of nature that just before a woman enters peri-menopause, her ovaries start releasing more than one egg each month. This “fertility spike” is also influenced by a surge of oestrogen.
Women over 30 are more likely to conceive twinss, because: 1. The hormone FSH rises as a woman gets older. FSH, or follicle stimulating hormone, is responsible for the development of eggs in the ovaries before they are released. But this only applies to non-identical twins.
Higher levels of FSH are needed as a woman ages because the eggs require more stimulation to grow than in a younger woman.
This is somewhat ironic, given that increased FSH is also due to lowering fertility. But sometimes, the follicles overreact to the higher FSH levels, and two or more eggs are released, resulting in a twin pregnancy
2. Have fertility assistance such as in vitro fertilisation or take fertility drugs: These stimulate the ovaries to support more than one ovarian follicle each month towards maturity. The result is that more than one egg is released.
3. Pick your own genetics carefully! If you come from a family where non-identical twins are common then your family history and genetic endowment means that you’ve got a greater chance of having them yourself. But identical twins can occur in any family.
4. Be of African/American heritage: Women from this ethnic background have a distinctly higher rate of twin pregnancies. African-Americans also are more likely to conceive twins than Caucasian women. Asian women are the least likely to conceive twins.
5. Have a big family: This theory is based on pure maths; the more times you conceive the greater the likelihood of conceiving more than one baby. Women who have previously had a baby or two have a higher chance of conceiving with twins.
6. Get pregnant while you are on the pill. Difficult as this can be overall, there is a higher incidence of women conceiving with twins when they are on oral contraceptives.
7. Try to conceive straight after you have stopped taking the pill. The theory is that for the first couple of cycles the woman’s body is going through a hormonal readjustment phase. And so she has higher chances of conceiving with twins.
8. Already have a set of twins: Because the likelihood of conceiving with twins again is higher in women who’ve already had them.
9. Be heavier rather than lighter so that you’ve got a higher body mass index (BMI): Some researchers claim that a woman with a BMI of greater than 30 boosts her chances. But considering a healthy range during the fertile years is 20-25 and 30 would put you into the overweight/obese category then this is not a healthy recommendation.
10. Taller women tend to conceive more twins: Women who are taller than average are more likely to have twins. One study found that women averaging 164.8 cm in height (about 5′ 4.8″) were more likely to conceive twins than women averaging 161.8 cm (about 5′ 3.7″). Why this happens isn’t clear, but one theory is that better nutrition (which may lead to more height) is partially behind the increased rate of twins.
11. Take a folic acid supplement before you conceive: The general recommendation for women who are planning to conceive is to start taking folic acid supplements one month before conception.
12. Encourage your partner to eat some oysters: The urban myth about oysters being an aphrodisiac is not entirely without basis. Oysters are high in zinc and this helps with sperm production. The healthier and more mobile his sperm are, the greater the likelihood of being able to fertilise an egg or two. If he’s keen to take supplements, the recommendation for men in their fertile years is 14mg/day. Green leafy vegetables, cereals, bread, seeds and wheat germ are all excellent sources of zinc.
12. Be a twin yourself: Mothers who are twins are more likely to have twin babies. There is no influence on the male partner’s side, only the mothers. But it does seem that fathers may pass the twin gene onto their daughters for their future conception possibilities.
13. Eat more yams/sweet potatoes: It is a fact that more women conceive with twins who live in areas where yams are a major component of their diet. It seems that a naturally occurring chemical component of the yams helps to support ovarian function.
14. Keep breastfeeding your older baby or toddler: Women who are producing prolactin and breastfeeding are more likely to conceive with twins. Though some women do not resume regular ovulation and menstrual cycles for the entire time they are breastfeeding; this is very individual.
Culled from Huggies