“Let’s face it, we’ve all seen those adorable pictures of twins and thought about how cute two identical babies are,” Dr. Temeka K. Zore, a reproductive endocrinologist and board-certified OB/GYN at RMA, tells Parentology. If you can relate all too well to her assertion, you’ve likely wondered how to get pregnant with twins yourself. You’re not alone.
Zore, and others in the same or similar professions, hear pleas for multiples all the time, or at least tips for how to conceive twins. She and other reproduction specialists explore the factors that increase one’s odds of having twins, tips for conceiving two, and the risk factors associated with carrying multiples.
Factors That Increase a Woman’s Odds of Having Twins
For many women, having twins boils down to genetics. Save for women who conceive via IVF, the probability rate for having twins is extremely low, if not non-existent. In fact, according to Zore, the twin birth rate is down by 2% to 3%, a fact she attributes to advancements in IVF technology, which makes it possible to transfer one embryo at a time.
So, what are the factors that increase a woman’s odds of conceiving multiples? “Being a twin herself,” Zore says. “Getting pregnant over the age of 35 or 40, as older women are more likely to ovulate two eggs in one month compared to younger women. Using fertility medications and ethnicity.”
Flo corroborates what Zore has to say and provides one additional factor: weight. Some research suggests obese women, or those with a BMI over 30, are more likely to have non-identical twins than non-obese women. However, doctors recommend against gaining weight for those looking to conceive twins.
Tips for Conceiving Twins
Like with the tips for inducing labor, the tips for conceiving twins are more myth than anything else. However, if you want to increase the odds have twins, it’s worth giving these tips a try:
- Eat a diet rich in protein and dairy, and avoid harmful eating habits.
- Give your body a break between pregnancies.
- Use fertility medications (a scientifically-backed method).
- Choose to conceive through IVF.
Reproduction Specialists Recommend One Baby at a Time
“At RMA, we always recommend and prefer that patients have one baby at a time,” Zore says. Why? The risks associated with a twin pregnancy are significantly higher than with a one-child pregnancy for both mother and baby.
“[With twins,] there’s almost a 60% chance of them being born prematurely,” Zore warns. “As a result, twins often weigh less than singleton babies and are at a higher risk of long-term health complications due to their premature birth. Twins are also five times more likely to be admitted to the NICU [neonatal intensive care unit] than a singleton baby. There’s also the increased chance of having a cesarean section due to one or both babies being breech.”
Zore continues, “Most devastatingly, though, is the fact that conceiving twins comes with the increased risk of miscarriage, birth defects, preterm labor and premature rupture of membranes.
“The purpose of presenting this information is not to scare women but rather to inform them of what to expect and watch out for during their pregnancies,” Zore adds. “As fertility doctors, we want every woman who comes to see us to have the family size they desire. We just hope to do it one baby at a time.”
Getting Pregnant With Twins — Sources:
Dr. Temeka K. Zore, reproductive endocrinologist and board-certified OB/GYN
The RMA Network: Innovation Ushering in a New Era of Family-Building
Flo: How to Get Pregnant with Twins: 5 Factors and 4 Awesome Ways to Try