What is the likelihood of you giving birth to twins or multiples? With wider use of fertility drugs and assisted reproductive technology to conceive, there are more chances of twin pregnancy than before. Age, family history, physical attributes, lifestyle, genetic factors, and ethnicity too play a part in it. You can evaluate your chances of having twins in the light of many of these factors and prepare yourself for motherhood.
The Incidence of Twin Pregnancy
About 3 in every 100 pregnant women face the prospect of having twins. The odds of having triplets or more are less than 1 in 900 pregnancies. More women with drug or medically assisted fertility give birth to twins or multiples than those giving birth without these. Women above 30 years of age account for a third of all twin pregnancy incidents.
Medical studies also attest the level of fertility as a factor in twin pregnancy. Younger women with higher level of fertility and healthier eggs have more chances to giving birth to twins than older women.
Depending on the type of fertility treatment, the chances of having twins also increase. It is observed that a taller woman or those with a family history of twin pregnancy have more chances than a shorter woman or those without any prior birth of twins in the family when undergoes fertility treatment.
Fertility Treatment and Chances of Having Twins
Fertility treatment boosts the chances of twin pregnancy. Drugs, in-vitro fertilization, or any other type of infertility treatment increases stimulation of ovaries and the chances of ovulation. This, in turn, raises the prospects of having twins or multiples.
The chances of having twin pregnancy arising out of fertility treatment are subject to two broad conditions – age of mother and monitoring of ovulation stimulation by clinics. According to the Centers for Disease Control statistics, about 29% women below 35 are likely to have twin pregnancies when treated with IVF. This decreases with increase in age – 26% for age 35-37, 20% for age 38-40, and 13% for age 40-42.
However, intrauterine insemination that places sperm directly into the uterus does not lead to twin pregnancy unless you are not prescribed a fertility drug.
Fertility drugs stimulate the ovaries to produce and discharge more eggs. This leads to the possibility of the release of multiple eggs into the fallopian tube simultaneously. Clomid and Femera are associated with a comparatively lower rate of multiples than Gonadotropins. One in every three women treated with Gonadotropins for fertility gives birth to twins.
Age of Mother A Factor in Twin Pregnancy
Women pregnant in their 30s have higher chances of giving birth to twins. As the fertility wanes, the body witnesses a sudden spurt in follicle stimulating hormone for a while. The hormone promotes the development of eggs in the ovaries. There may be episodes when the ultra-high level of the hormone leads to discharge of multiple eggs causing in twin pregnancy.
Heredity Factor in Twin Pregnancy
Previous birth of fraternal twins in your family put you at increased risk of twin pregnancy. Though female side hereditary factor is more prominent, there exists a risk in case twin birth reported on the side of the male family.
Obesity and Risk of Twin Pregnancy
There is a link between obesity and twin pregnancies. According to research studies, women with a body mass index above 30 are more vulnerable to having twins than those not obese. No doubt that overweight women often struggles to conceive. But extra fat depositions in them mean increased production of estrogen hormone, which stimulates the ovaries into releasing more than one egg.
Previous Twins, Multiple Pregnancies
If you have given birth to twins previously, you have an enhanced chance of twin pregnancy next time. It is also seen that the risk increases with each pregnancy and a women with many children is more likely to have twins when she becomes pregnant again.
Breastfeeding women getting pregnant have a 10% percent higher chance of giving birth to twins.
Height and Twin Pregnancy
According to a research report, women taller than 164 cm are found to be more prone to having twins than those less than 161 cm. Better nutrition and increased hormone in tall women may be the reason for twins.
An ethnic profile of mothers indicates African-American, Latino, and Caucasian women have higher chances of twin pregnancies compared to their Asian and European counterparts.
What Is The Likelihood of Having Identical Twins
It is very rare for women to expect identical twins. The potential is only one in 250 births. Even with fertility treatment, the chances are less than 1%. Fraternal twins have a far greater possibility than identical twins.
Ravneet also blogs at www.wellnessguide.com