How twins are conceived varies greatly depending on the type of twin birth in question.
Top 3 Tips to Increase Your Odds of Having Twins

Are you looking for ways to help boost your odds of having twins?

Combining the latest research and expert advice on twin births, from dietary recommendations to fertility drugs, you'll learn some of the best methods on how to have twins — both naturally and with medical treatment.

Read on to learn more.

In this article:

Note: Read the whole article or scroll down to the KEY TAKEAWAYS section at the end of this article for a short summary.

How Twin Pregnancies Happen

According to the latest 2022 U.S. statistics, twin births account for roughly 3% of all live births. However, how twins are conceived varies greatly depending on the type of twin birth in question.

Identical Twins

Identical twins, also known as monozygotic twins, are formed when a single egg is fertilized by a sperm cell and later divides into two identical twin cells. This type of twin has the same genetic makeup, resulting in a similar appearance throughout life.

Fraternal Twins

Fraternal twins, also known as dizygotic twins or non-identical twins, are formed when two eggs are released during conception and fertilized by two sperm cells. As a result, two separate embryos develop in the mother's womb.

What Are the Odds of Having Twins?

As mentioned earlier, having twins is relatively uncommon.

Identical twins result from pure chance and account for one-third of all twins born. There is some evidence to suggest that fertility treatment, such as in-vitro fertilization (IVF), can help increase the chances of conceiving identical twins.

Unlike identical twin babies, fraternal twins run in the family. Since "less chance" is involved, fraternal twins are considerably more common than identical twins, accounting for roughly 70% of all twin pregnancies.

Thanks to the recent evolution from assisted reproductive technology and fertility treatments, this number has increased quite substantially since the late 1900s — more on this in a moment.

Factors That Influence the Chances of Having Twins

Unlike natural twin conception, the rate of twin pregnancies with IVF goes down as a woman ages past 35.

Though some twin births arise with no discernible cause (or so we think), many factors help explain why many of these occur. Here are a few of the most well-known factors involved.

Family History

Women who have a family history of twin births, whether they are twins or twins run in their family, they're more likely to have their own as well.

According to the American Society of Reproductive Medicine (ASMR), women who have a family history of non-identical twins have a higher chance of producing non-identical twins themselves as there is a genetically linked tendency to hyper-ovulate. This may be due to women carrying the hereditary trait of "hyperovulation", or releasing two eggs (or more) during ovulation.

Unlike natural twin conception, the rate of twin pregnancies with IVF goes down as a woman ages past 35. However, this only holds true so long as there is no use of fertility treatments during conception.

Maternal Age

As women age, their chance of conceiving twins increases. According to experts, women who are over the age of 30 are more likely to conceive twins compared to women in their 20s.

Researchers have found that women at an older maternal age are more likely to produce more follicle-stimulating hormones (FSH) than younger women, which can lead to the release of more than one egg during ovulation. If one or more sperm cells fertilize the two separate eggs, a twin pregnancy will happen!

Body Composition

Another important factor involved is a woman's body composition.

Based on a recent 2020 study, women with a pre-pregnancy body mass index (BMI) higher than 30 are more likely to conceive fraternal twins. On this same note, taller women are shown to have a slightly higher chance of producing twins than shorter women.

Though the reasons for this are not completely clear, many experts believe that because nutrition plays a role in body composition, more food may help feed more than one embryo.

Race

Race is an interesting factor that has a strong influence on women's chances of having twins. Though the research is not fully supported, theories have suggested that African-American women are the most common race to conceive twins, followed by Caucasian and Asian women.

Interestingly, Caucasian women over 35 have the highest chance of multiple births, including twins, triplets, and more!

Pregnancy History

Having one or more previous pregnancies is shown to increase your chances of having twins in your subsequent pregnancy. The more pregnancies you've had, the greater your odds become!

The why is unclear, but it may be due to having babies at a later maternal age.

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3 Ways to Increase Your Odds of Having Twins

This type of fertility treatment may help increase the rate of conceiving twins by up to 7.4%.

Though there are no guarantees, some research supports that women can increase their odds of having twins. Here's how!

1. Start Fertility Treatment & Supplementation

Fertility treatments and supplementation are two helpful strategies to increase your odds of multiple births.

In-Vitro Fertilization Treatment

The first and most common type of treatment is known as IVF. Rather than having the sperm cell fertilize the egg within a woman's uterus, IVF removes the eggs and allows the sperm to fertilize in a culture medium in a lab.

According to research, women who undergo IVF treatment have an astounding 20-40% chance of giving birth to more than one baby. Though identical twin births have happened, fraternal twins are much more likely to be the result of IVF.

Unlike natural twin conception, the rate of twin pregnancies with IVF goes down as a woman ages past 35.

Intrauterine Insemination Treatment

Intrauterine insemination (IUI) is another type of assisted reproductive technology that involves the use of fertility drugs to help increase a woman's chances of having twins.

Some common fertility drugs involved in this procedure include Clomiphene citrate (Clomid) and letrozole (Femara). Also known as ovulation-stimulating medications, these drugs are given in IUI cycles to help produce multiple eggs to be released at once.

This type of fertility treatment may help increase the rate of conceiving twins by up to 7.4%.

Ovulation-Stimulating Supplements

Supplements are another helpful fertility treatment to stimulate multiple births.

Here are the most common supplements used:

  • Folic acid — taking folic acid is highly recommended for any woman of childbearing age to prepare the uterus for conception. Folic acid supplements, along with IVF treatments, are shown to help increase the odds of getting pregnant with twins.
  • Gonadotropin — This medication helps stimulate the growth of the egg follicles. This treatment is often used in combination with IUI and other fertility treatments to help produce twins.
  • Progesterone — This hormone is known to strengthen the uterus lining, which may help increase the chances of conceiving twins.

2. Change Your Diet to Stimulate ovulation

Specific dietary changes are shown to play a small role in helping women conceive twins naturally.

Some experts believe that women who consume a high-dairy diet have a better chance of having twins. The idea behind this has to do with the growth hormone present in milk. Consuming higher IGH may increase levels of insulin-like growth hormone (IGH), which is associated with increased rates of multiple ovulation.

Another typical food that may be shown to affect twin birth rates is yams! Though the research is limited, some studies have found that yams contain a natural hormone known as phytoestrogen, which may help stimulate the ovulation of multiple eggs.

ther beneficial foods that can help women conceive twins naturally include:

  • Foods rich in zinc (i.e green veggies, oysters, bread, etc.)
  • Protein-rich foods with ovulation-stimulating properties (i.e.tofu, soy, whole grains, etc.)
  • Root vegetables high in vitamins and minerals

3. Try New Sex Positions to Increase Chances of Conception

As you may already assume, the only way to have a baby is by having sex!

Though many sexual positions can lead to a pregnancy, some may be better than others when it comes to twin pregnancy. Here are the top positions to try.

Missionary Position

Bringing it back to the basics, the missionary position is a staple in helping couples make babies.

In this position, the woman's cervix is well-aligned to the upper end of her vagina, which, during sex, makes it easier for the sperm to travel up to fertilize the egg. Since the man is on top, the sperm have gravity on their side to help increase the possibility for more to arrive in the uterus.

Doggy Style

Another great way to conceive twins is with doggy style. In the doggy style position, the woman's body is bent over, which creates a downward slant in her torso to help the man penetrate deeper and allow the sperm to arrive closer to the cervix during ejaculation.

Reverse Cowgirl

The reverse cowgirl position is beneficial for women who may have a tipped or misaligned uterus. During sex, this position helps create an ideal angle to increase the chances for sperm to reach the cervix.

As a result, this may help increase a woman's chances of getting pregnant with twins!

ALSO READ: Favorite Sex Positions

FAQs

What can cause twin pregnancies?

Twin pregnancies can happen in two different ways.

One egg is fertilized with identical twins and then split into two embryos with the same genetic makeup.

On the other hand, fraternal twins happen when more than one egg is fertilized by multiple sperm cells to create two separate embryos.

Can I increase my chance of having twins?

Though certain factors are more difficult to modify, such as age, race, body composition, and family history, there are numerous other ways to help increase your odds of twin pregnancy.

These include methods of fertility treatments, supplements, fertility drugs, dietary changes, and sex positions.

What foods help conceive twins?

Consuming folic acid while trying to become pregnant can increase one's chances of conceiving twins. The best sources of folic acid include spinach, broccoli, avocado, legumes, seafood, beans, whole grains and liver.

ALSO READ: What's your best sex position? Let's find out.

KEY TAKEAWAYS

  • Having twins is a relatively rare occurrence and may be due to a range of factors, including family history, age, body composition, race, and pregnancy history
  • Twins conceived naturally make up only 3% of all births
  • With advancements in science, women can use different methods of fertility treatments, such as IVF or IUI, in combination with fertility drugs to increase their chances of having multiple pregnancies
  • Other ways to conceive twins naturally include dietary changes to stimulate ovulation and trying new sex positions to help improve sperm mobility
  • We recommend speaking to your doctor to inquire about twin pregnancy and before choosing to undergo fertility assistance methods
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Medical Disclaimer: This article is for informational purposes only and is not intended to give medical advice or substitute for the medical advice of a physician.

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