Twins are two offsprings produced by the same pregnancy. A twin pregnancy can occur either when two separate eggs become fertilized in the womb(Fraternal twins) or when a single fertilized egg splits into two embryos( Identical twins).

Unlike in the past, it is now common to have twin births. Research by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), shows that twin births have nearly doubled over the last 40 years.

The chances of a woman having twins are higher when conception is assisted with fertility treatment or the age of the woman is above 34 years. Aside from maternal age, a study showed that one-third of twin pregnancies in the United States resulted from conception assisted by fertility treatments.

However, there are many myths about how to improve the odds of having twins. Although there are no proven ways to increase the likelihood of conceiving twins, there are certain factors that can increase the chances of this type of pregnancy to occur more. These factors include:

1. Overweight

Women who are obese with a body mass index (BMI) over 30 are more likely to conceive twins than women with a healthier BMI. This may sound ironic since overweight women are also more likely to have difficulty conceiving.

To shed more light on this, extra fat leads to increased levels of estrogen. So, the higher levels of estrogen may lead to overstimulation of the ovaries. Instead of releasing just one egg at ovulation, the ovaries may release two or more.

2. Race

Your racial background is a significant factor that influences your chance of having twin babies. For example, African-American women are more likely to conceive twins than any other race. Asian and Native Americans have the lowest twinning rates. White women, especially those older than 35, have the highest rate of higher-order multiple births (triplets or more).

3. Pregnancy Shortly After You Stop Taking Oral Contraceptives

Oral contraceptives are a popular way to stave off unwanted pregnancies, as they work their magic by halting ovulation. Of course, no form of contraception is absolutely foolproof, but the pill often does the job of keeping pregnancy at bay, so long as it’s taken properly. Because the pill interferes so drastically with a woman’s natural cycle and hormonal balance, it’s not uncommon to assume the body will take time to fully rid itself of the pill’s effects. But that’s not always the case. In fact, your body could be ready to conceive sooner than you’d think — with twins.

4. Fertility Treatment

The choice to begin any kind of fertility treatment is a big decision. Perhaps you’ve been unlucky in your journey to becoming pregnant at all. Or maybe, you’re dead set on having multiples. If that’s the case, IVF may be the way to go. Research shows women who’ve undergone fertility treatments are more likely to have twins, specifically identical twins. Of course, discussing any and all family planning with your doctor is key. The health of both you and your potential child depends on a wide variety of factors.

5. Maternal Age

Women over 30 are more likely to conceive multiples. This is because 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. 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.

6. Height

Women who are taller than average are more likely to have twins. Women with an average of 164.8 cm in height (about 5′ 4.8″) are more likely to conceive twins than women averaging 161.8 cm (about 5′ 3.7″).

Why this happens, is still not clear, but one theory is that better nutrition (which may lead to more height) is partially behind the increased rate of twins.

7. Family History

A family history of identical twins does not make it more likely you’ll have multiples. However, if you have fraternal twins (non-identical) in your family, your chances of conceiving twins are high. If there are fraternal twins on both the mother and father’s side, your odds for twins goes up even higher.

A history of fraternal twins on the female side of the family indicates a higher likelihood of ovulating more than one egg per cycle. While a history of fraternal twins on the male side indicates a higher likelihood of the man producing enough sperm to fertilize more than one egg.

8. Diet

While research is still ongoing, some studies have found that women who eat a lot of dairy products are more likely to conceive twins. This is, as a result, dairy lovers have an increased chance of ovulating more than one egg at a time, thus increasing their chances of conceiving fraternal twins. So, take more dairy products if you want to have twin births

9. Breastfeeding

The chances of having multiples increases, if you conceive or become pregnant while lactating( breastfeeding your child). According to one research, women who conceive while they’re still breastfeeding are nine times more likely to have twins than those who are no longer nursing at the time of conception. Again, it all goes back to your IGF(Insulin-Like Growth Factor) levels, which are elevated in nursing women to help produce milk. In turn, you’re increasing the odds of releasing more than one egg during ovulation.

It’s true that breastfeeding can also suppress fertility and prevent pregnancy, specifically during a baby’s first six months if the baby is exclusively breastfed. But it is also possible to get pregnant when breastfeeding and it is more likely to be twins.

10.  Number Of Pregnancies

Twins are more common in women who have carried many pregnancies and have large families. This is because after each pregnancy you’re a little bit older (which in itself highers the chances of having twins).

You can also read about Foods that can make you get pregnant faster



Your chances of having twins will depend not just on your use of fertility drugs, but also your family history, race, age, and other factors mentioned above. These factors do work together. In other words, a tall woman with a family history of fraternal twins is more likely to conceive twins during fertility treatments than a short woman without any family history of twins. Furthermore, twins and multiple pregnancies also vary among fertility clinics. Twin pregnancy differs based on how carefully the clinic track ovulation stimulation during fertility drug use and how many embryos they transfer during IVF. Therefore, if are considering to have twins, make a proper inquiry before you choose a clinic.

Also read about 9 signs you are possibly pregnant with twin babies

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