You have to rely a lot on Mother Nature when it comes to your baby's gender and genetics, however, if you are desperate to conceive twins, then there are things you can do to increase your chances of a multiple birth...
How to get pregnant with twins:
2) Your lifestyle
Women who have a low-fat diet, especially vegans and vegetarians, are less likely to have multiples than someone who goes for the whole milk and tucks into steak every Friday.
‘The possible causes of this are subtle hormonal changes in people with these different diets, as well as perhaps someone with a higher fat diet having a higher body mass index (BMI) – that’s a measure for checking how healthy your weight is in relation to your height,’ says David.
That said, even if you are a veggie, there's plenty of fertility superfoods
to start adding to your diet if you are trying to conceive - whether that's one baby or two!
3) Coming off the pill
There's also an idea that if you fall pregnant when you are on the pill, or conceive soon after coming off the pill
, you are more likely to get pregnant with twins. As difficult as this can be, the idea behind this theory is that for the first couple of cycles after coming off the pill, your body goes through a hormonal readjustment phase and more eggs can be released.
Chances are this is just a case of odds – but research suggests the more children you’ve had, the more likely at some stage you’ll conceive multiples. Your chances of conceiving twins are also thought to be higher if you already have twins.
The more children you’ve had, the more likely at some stage you’ll conceive multiples
You’re simply giving yourself more opportunities to strike lucky. ‘There’s also the possibility that if you’ve always become pregnant easily in the past, you’re basically a good ovulator, so to speak’ says David.
How common are twins?
The NHS reported in 2016, around 12,000 sets of twins and about 190 sets of triplets or more were born in the UK. This means that about 1 in every 65 births in the UK today are twins, triplets or more.
Many fertility experts believe twins are more common than we are aware of, it is reasonably common for more than one embryo to be implanted, yet in a lot of cases, only one twin survives.
Identical vs non-identical
Before we talk about increasing your chances of adding two to your brood, it's important to understand how twins are made. You'll probably know that there are two types of twins: identical and non-identical.
Identical, or monozygotic twins are made when one egg is fertilised by one sperm, which divides into two separate embryos.
They'll not only look identical but share the same genetic structures and the same placenta.
You can find out if your twins will be identical through a DNA test.
Non-identical or dizygotic twins are made when two separate eggs are fertilised by two separate sperm.
These twins will have their own genetic composition and will have their own placentas. This type of twin is more common.
‘Identical twins, which make up around a third of twin pregnancies, come from one egg and are basically a fluke of nature – there’s no known common factor in those,’ says David Davies, consultant obstetrician at Portsmouth’s Queen Alexandra Hospital.
‘But with non-identical twins or triplets, which come from different eggs, there are several shared influences.’
From what you eat to the size of your family, get clued up on the likelihood that you’re going to need a bigger buggy.
How do I know if I'm carrying twins?
Many couples expecting can find out if they are having twins through the dating ultrasound scan when you're 8 to 14 weeks pregnant, but the NHS says there are some other signs to look out for:
- If you seem bigger than you should be for your dates
- Twins run in your family
- You have had fertility treatment
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