Double the blessing, double the effort! Interested in getting pregnant with twins? Learn about it here.
What can you read in this article?
- Factors that contribute to conceiving twins
- Different sex positions to try if you want to have twins
- The risks of getting pregnant with twins
When me and my husband were still trying to get pregnant, I expressed to our OB-Gynecologist for our desire to have twins. His reaction was, “Are you sure?” He said it was hard enough to try for one (I had polycystic ovaries) and given it was my first pregnancy, he told us that it will be a challenge.
We didn’t have twins as we hoped, but it was okay, as I later realized, taking care of one baby was already difficult. But hey, to each her own.
Getting pregnant with twins can be a challenge for many women, especially if you have no family history of multiple pregnancies. But there are ways to improve your chances of welcoming more than one new addition to your growing brood.
How are twins conceived?
Before we discuss the ways to increase our chances of getting pregnant with twins, let’s first take a closer look at how they are conceived.
To be able to conceive twins, there should be two eggs present in the womb at the time of fertilization or one fertilized egg should split into two separate embryos.
There are two kinds of twins: fraternal and identical. Identical twins are those who are of the same sex and look very alike. This happens when a fertilized egg splits into two separate embryos that have identical genes or are monozygotic.
Meanwhile, non-identical or fraternal twins are conceived when there are two eggs present in the womb at the time of fertilization and the sperm fertilized both of them. The embryos are dizygotic or don’t have identical genes. As a result, the twins may not have the same sex.
How common are twins?
Twins are not very common. In fact, according to the American Society for Reproductive Medicine (ASRM), only approximately 1 in 250 pregnancies results in twins.
However, because of the advances in science, it’s more possible now than before. A report from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) revealed that twin births have nearly doubled over the last 40 years.
Getting pregnant with twins – factors that increase your chances
While there is no surefire way to conceive twins, there are several factors that may affect that possibility.
If having twins run in the family, then there’s a slightly higher chance that you can bear twins. I had a friend who was a twin (identical) and she gave birth to fraternal twins (a girl and a boy).
According to a study, a family history of twins on the mother’s side increases this likelihood more than a family history on the father’s side. This applies if the conception happened without the help of fertility treatments.
On the topic of multiple births running in the family, some people believe that twins can skip a generation, which means a person will potentially have twins if one of their grandparents did. However, there is no evidence to support this theory.
ASRM noted that the main factor that increases the chance of having twins is the use of fertility treatments. Different types of fertility treatment available increase the likelihood of twins in different ways. Some fertility drugs work by stimulating the woman’s ovaries, which causes them to release more than one egg.
In vitro fertilization (IVF) also increases the chance of conceiving twins. It is a type of assisted reproductive technology wherein the woman’s eggs and man’s sperm are removed before they are fertilized and then incubated together in a laboratory dish where an embryo is formed.
To increase the chances of pregnancy in IVF, the doctors may place more than one embryo into the womb. If both embryos implant and develop successfully, this results in twin pregnancy.
According to the Office on Women’s Health, women who are aged 30 years or older are more likely to conceive twins. This is because women of this age are more likely to release more than one egg during ovulation than younger women.
ASRM also reported that fraternal twins are slightly more common in taller or heavier women than they are in small women. Experts aren’t sure why this is the case, but it may have something to do with better nutrition.
Some research showed that a person’s ethnicity may also have a factor in giving birth to multiples. For example, black and non-Hispanic white women are more likely to have twins than Hispanic women. Nigerian women have the highest rate of multiple births while Japanese women have the lowest.
7 things that increase your chances of having twins
Presyo ng IVF o In Vitro Fertilization sa Pilipinas?
#AskDok: Are there vitamins I can take to help me get pregnant?
Can sex positions help make getting pregnant with twins easier?
Aside from exploring fertility treatments and having a family history of twins, sex positions for twins can also increase your chances.
The key lies in releasing the sperm as close to the cervix as possible. This is why many have touted the effectiveness of certain sex positions, like the following:
- Side by side. In this position, a woman bends forward while her partner penetrates her from behind.
- Missionary position. The simplest and most common position is popular not just because it’s comfortable, but it also allows the sperm to seamlessly find the egg.
- Standing position. There is one position known as the door jam position, which involves facing each other and anchoring yourselves in a doorway. With one side supporting your back, put one leg up as your hubby penetrates you. Not only does this stimulate pleasure, it allows for deep penetration, which can improve the likelihood of a twin pregnancy.
Though there is no scientific backing for any of these sex positions, it’s easy to see why many believe they work. Improving the sperms’ trajectory can make entry into the cervix easier. But it’s important not to forget that multiple ovulation holds the key to twin conception!
Other factors that influence getting pregnant with twins
A previous study found that a woman’s diet influences her ability to conceive twins. According to researchers, women who had a diet rich in animal products, like dairy, were five times more likely to get pregnant with twins.
There have also been some studies that suggest taking folic acid prior to pregnancy may increase the likelihood of conceiving multiples, however, there is not enough evidence to back this theory.
There was also a study published in the Journal of Reproductive Medicine that said that women who were breastfeeding and got pregnant were more likely to conceive twins. But again, there are no sufficient studies to support this information.
Risk of getting pregnant with twins
Getting pregnant and giving to twins may be exciting and interesting, but aside from the reality that it’s doubly expensive, it should also be noted that a twin pregnancy is riskier for both the woman and the developing fetuses.
According to Medical News Today, getting pregnant with twins increases the risk of:
- premature birth
- low birth weight
- disabilities at birth and congenital health conditions, such as cerebral palsy and autism
- diabetes during pregnancy
- cesarean delivery
- needing bed rest while pregnant
So before you think about wishing and trying for twins, you need to prepare yourself for these possible scenarios and work doubly hard to have a safe and healthy pregnancy.
In my own experience as a nurse, I have found that many women go on to conceive twins naturally without any of the factors mentioned above.
Just remember that what matters most is that you make every effort to make sure that you have a healthy pregnancy, regardless of how many babies you will be bringing into the world!
Image from Pexels
Republished with permission from theAsianParent Singapore
Additional information by Camille Eusebio
Science Daily, Healthline, WebMD, VeryWell, Medical News Today