Getting Pregnant with Twins: What Should You Know?
Ever thought about having a baby? But what about a pair of twins? Chances are, most people who you talk to about this matter will be puzzled, especially those who haven’t had anything to do with more than one baby at a time. But did you know that naturally conceived twins occur in about 1 in 89 pregnancies? Meaning, the odds of giving birth to twins is extremely slim — but, it’s still possible.
First, How Do Twins Happen?
Have you ever wondered why do most women have just one baby, but others have two babies at a time?
As you probably know already, there are two types of twins: identical (or non-fraternal) and non-identical (fraternal). Identical twins are formed when an egg that’s been fertilized by a sperm cell divides into two separate embryos. Each embryo has exactly the same genetic structure and genetic components, and they both share the same placenta.
Non-identical twins form from two separate eggs that are fertilized by different sperm cells. These eggs have unique genetic structures and genetic components, and each has its own placenta. Fraternal twins are common, but studies have shown that only one of the two embryos is viable and survives.
Do Genetics Have Anything to Do with Twins?
Yes. According to Huggies.com, “the genetic predisposition for having twins only applies to the mother. It is her family history which influences the chances of her having hyper ovulation”. However, any woman can have twins, even if nobody in her family has ever had.
What to Do to Get Pregnant with Twins?
Unfortunately, there’s not much you can do to get pregnant with twins. The odds for this to happen are very slim, and every woman has the same chances of conceiving twins. However, you can increase your chances by doing a few things — and we’ve listed them below:
Having been pregnant before —If you’ve been pregnant before, you have a higher chance of conceiving twins. Currently, it’s not clear why this happens, but researchers have proven that women who try conceiving several times have better odds of getting pregnant with more than one baby at a time.
Conceiving right after you stopped taking birth control pills — In theory, your body is going through a number of hormonal readjustment phase during the first few cycles after you’ve stopped taking birth control pills, so there’s a greater chance for you to conceive twins.
Being taller — Interestingly, there is a higher incidence of twin births in taller woman. If you’re petite, or you simply can’t be considered tall, there’s not much you can do (other than blaming your genetics for it).
Getting your partner to eat oysters — There’s a myth about oysters being an aphrodisiac. While this isn’t necessarily true, you should know that oysters are known for their high zinc content, which can help with sperm production. Healthier sperm cells can swim more easily through the vagina, so there’s a greater chance of conceiving twins. If your partner can’t eat oysters, consider getting some zinc supplements for him. Another option is eating foods that are high in zinc, such as wheat germ, cereals, bread and leafy green vegetables.
Being a twin yourself — If you’re a twin yourself, then genetics are on your side! Mothers who are twins are more likely to give birth to twins as well. Don’t forget that the genetic predisposition for having twins applies to the mother only, and the father rarely has to do anything with this. However, some findings show that fathers may pass the gene onto their daughters for future conception possibilities.
Eating sweet potatoes — Did you know that women who live in areas where sweet potatoes are a major component of their diet have a higher chance of conceiving twins? That’s right — eating sweet potatoes can help you materialize your dream. It seems that this veggie is full in a chemical that supports ovarian function, and hence it’s good if you want to have twins.
Being older rather than younger — Before a woman enters peri-menopause, the ovaries are releasing more than one egg every month, meaning having sex with your partner can result in two eggs getting fertilized. Women who are over 35 years old are more likely to get pregnant with twins, but not that this applies specifically to non-identical (fraternal) twins.
Taking a folic acid supplement before conceiving — Women are advised to take a folic acid supplement before hopping into bed and having baby-making sex, and this applies to those who want twins as well. While there is no clear evidence to support this, folic acid has been associated with twin pregnancies fairly often during the past decade.
Seeking medical help — If you really want twins, and are afraid that you won’t be able to conceive them naturally, there’s a quicker and more efficient option to get what you want: in vitro fertilization. Talk to your doctor about this, and see what you need to have twins. Taking fertility drugs may also help, because they support ovary function, and encourage more than one egg to mature in your ovaries. As such, more than one egg will be released, increasing the likelihood to get two eggs fertilized instead of just one. Note that this applies only to non-identical twins.
Relax and Have Fun!
For many women, conceiving is more of a chore — but it doesn’t have to be this way. If you stress over not getting pregnant, this can really interfere with your efforts, and make it more difficult for you to actually conceive. Relax and have fun — that’s what your doctor will tell you, and that’s probably what your mother and close friends will tell you as well. The more relaxed and stress-free you are, the greater your odds of getting pregnant are — and if you follow the tips above, there’s a high chance you’ll have twins!