The chances of getting a twin pregnancy are extremely low. If you want to have twins, then it is better to try for triplets or even quadruplets. There are many factors which influence your chance of conceiving a twin pregnancy. These include:
Your age. Twin pregnancies are more likely when the mother is older than she was at her first pregnancy. A woman’s age affects the likelihood of conception because there is less time between ovulation and fertilization. Therefore, the egg has to mature longer before it can develop into a viable embryo.
Your menstrual cycle. The length of the follicular phase (the period during which eggs are released from the ovaries) is shorter in women who are younger than they were at their first pregnancy. This means that the egg has to mature longer before it can develop into a viable embryo.
Whether you smoke cigarettes or not. Smoking increases your risk of miscarriage and triplet births. However, if you do smoke, then smoking cessation may reduce your chances of getting a twin pregnancy significantly.
You have a history of fertility problems. You are more likely to get a twin pregnancy if you have fertility problems.
If you are a carrier of the genetic disorder known as polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS). A woman with this condition is three times more likely to get pregnant with twins than other women.
If you are over 35, then you are more likely to get pregnant with twins. This is because the quality, rather than the quantity of eggs declines as a woman ages. This is also why women have a higher risk of miscarriage when they are over 35.
If you have been pregnant before, then the chances of you getting a twin pregnancy increase by 6 percent for each previous birth.
Your weight may have a bearing on your chances of getting a multiple birth. Women who have a BMI of less than 19 are five times more likely to get pregnant with twins or triplets. This may be because such women have higher levels of follicle stimulating hormone (FSH), which is linked to ovulation and fertility problems.
If you want to try for twins, it is better to try for triplets or even quadruplets. The chances of getting a multiple birth increase as the number of embryos increase in the uterus. The more fetuses you have in your uterus, the greater your chances of at least one of them surviving to term. The chances of having identical twins is the same as having any other type of twin.
How to Increase Your Chances of Having Twins, Triplets or Quads
You can increase your chances of having twins, triplets or even quads by doing the following:
Make sure you and your partner both have a family history of twins on both sides. This increases your chances of having multiples.
If you plan to get pregnant, see your doctor immediately. This will give you a better chance of getting pregnant with multiples.
Get your partner to have a SA (sperm analysis) done, if he is having trouble fathering children. The report will tell the doctor what could be wrong and how to fix it.
Have the IUI (intra-uterine insemination) or IVF (in-vitro fertilization) procedure done.
If you are using injectable fertility drugs, then make sure you get the higher dose ones. These have been known to cause multiples.
Keep having children until you have multiples. You may be worried about the health of your babies and yourself, but the chances of both of you surviving a multiple birth is quite high nowadays. Also, once you have had one set of twins, the chances of having another set is higher than before.
Have your tubes tied after your first set of twins. This is only an option if you are absolutely sure you do not want any more children in the future.
If you have a serious condition such as diabetes, hypertension or a heart condition, these may contribute to higher chances of multiple births. Seek immediate medical attention if you are pregnant and have any of these conditions. Also, get yourself checked regularly during your pregnancy.
What to Expect When You Are Pregnant with Twins, Triplets or Quads
If you are carrying multiple babies, then your body is going to go through a lot of changes. An extra burden is going to be on your body and you are going to tire faster than normal. It is better to take it easy and rest as much as possible. It will be best if you can get someone to help you around the house.
If that is not possible, make sure you rest as much as possible in between doing chores. Maintain a healthy diet and get plenty of exercise.
An upcoming episode of your favorite TV show is not as important as rest, so remember to take care of yourself during your pregnancy. Your body will be working hard to carry the babies and ensure their safety. The more you rest, the more it can concentrate on the babies and not have to focus on other things that could endanger them.
Rest will also help you keep your blood sugar levels at an even level. High or low blood sugar can be very dangerous for you and the babies. If you do feel tired, make sure you sit down and rest until you feel energetic again. If it is hot outside, do not hesitate to stay inside the air conditioned house.
If you have a job, it is best if you stop working once you are aware that you are expecting multiples. This will ensure that you do not over exert yourself. Your health and the health of your babies is more important than anything else. One of the reasons for multiple birth pregnancies is medical intervention to begin with, so it only makes sense to stop whatever it was that caused it in the first place.
Keep the stress levels down and read as many books on having multiples as you can. This way you will be prepared for whatever comes your way and know what is normal and what is not. The more informed you are, the better you can handle the situation.
Be sure to get as much rest as you can. It will be tempting to do things around the house or go out with your friends, but it is best if you just take it easy. You can always go out and do things once the babies are born.
If you are part of a multiple birth club or have a friend who has had multiples, ask them if you can stay with them for a while after the babies are born. Having someone around to help you can make all the difference in the world and will allow you to rest more easily. If no one is available, look into local maternity homes or at least get a visiting nurse.
If you have had a C-section, it will be best if you stay in the hospital for at least a week after the birth. Even if everything goes well, recovery is still difficult and you are still dealing with the effects of having had a multiple birth. Getting rest is essential to your own well being as well as that of the babies.
If you had a natural birth, you will still need to rest and recover after the babies are born. Most doctors will keep you in the hospital for at least three days to make sure everything has gone well and you are recovering well. It is best to get a visiting nurse to come in and help out as well. You will not be able to do as much for the babies as you would like, so it helps to have someone experienced around to do things for you.
When the babies are finally born, enjoy the experience and cherish every moment. Having more than one baby is a true blessing that not everyone will ever experience. Cherish and love every one of your babies and always remember how fortunate you are to be their Mom.
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Updated June 18, 2008
Sources & references used in this article:
Having twins and more: A Parent’s Guide to Multiple Pregnancy, Birth, and early childhood by E Noble, L Sorger – 2003 – books.google.com
Digital twins by HTCAB Girl
A study of multibiometric traits of identical twins by M Batty – 2018 – journals.sagepub.com
Symmetrical twins: On the relationship between Actor-Network theory and the sociology of critical capacities by Z Sun, AA Paulino, J Feng, Z Chai… – … technology for human …, 2010 – spiedigitallibrary.org