How likely are you to have twins?
If you just took a pregnancy test, are about to go to an ultrasound or are simply daydreaming about your future family in years to come, the thought of twins may cross your mind. But some people may be more likely than others to carry multiples.
1. Fertility drugs
To help those with infertility become pregnant, fertility drugs are used to increase egg production. The American Society for Reproductive Medicine reports that 1 out of 3 pregnant people who use a fertility drug and have more than one follicle produced are likely to have a multiple gestation pregnancy. On the other hand, in vitro fertilization (IVF) gives you more control over how many fertilized eggs are transferred – decreasing your likelihood of twins compared to fertility drugs.
2. Geriatric pregnancy
Studies say age can play a factor due to the increased chances that you have been pregnant before and the increased likelihood IVF was used.
3. Family history of multiples
The female’s side of the family having a history of fraternal twin pregnancies can increase your own likelihood of also carrying fraternal twins.
4. Being overweight
Having a high body mass index (BMI) before pregnancy can boost follicle-stimulating hormones and therefore the likelihood of twins, according to a study.
Some studies have found that eating a diet that is high in phytoestrogen, or plant-like estrogen, can increase your chances of conceiving twins. High phytoestrogen foods include most fruits and vegetables, and soy-based foods.
Non-Hispanic Black pregnant people are the most likely to have a twin pregnancy than any other race.
Health risks of a multiple gestation pregnancy
Two babies mean double the cuteness and double the diapers. It also means you may be more likely to experience certain health issues during your pregnancy. “Carrying multiples can increase your risk for gestational diabetes, gestational hypertension and anemia,” says Dr. Doshi.
Your obstetrician will closely monitor for these conditions throughout your pregnancy. They may also advise special precautions. “Your doctor may recommend you take higher levels of folic acid, increase your hydration and eat many nutritious foods,” says Dr. Doshi.
About the Author
Anna Kohler, health enews contributor, is a public affairs specialist for Advocate Health Care and Aurora Health Care. She received her Bachelor of Science in public relations from Illinois State University and has worked in healthcare public relations and content marketing for over five years. In her free time, she enjoys working out, exploring new places with her friends and family, and keeping up with the latest social media trends.