What will help boost my chances of having twins, triplets, or more?

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Family history plays a huge role in your chances of having multiples...
Family history plays a huge role in your chances of having multiples...

Twins, triplets, quads... do you dream of having a large family? Having multiples is one way to grow your family fast. 

But, according to one study on the risk factors associated with multiple births, the chance of twins being conceived, naturally, is one in every 250 pregnancies.

The chance of having triplets are one in 10 000 pregnancies and for quadruplets, it's one in 700,000 pregnancies. 

Parent24 did some research and learned that while there are some statistics that provide insight into the chances of conceiving more than one baby at a time, as well as old wives' tales and unfounded claims of home remedies out there, it is in fact not such a good idea to actively try to have twins or triplets. 

Risk factors

When asked, Dr. Lizle Oosthuizen, a reproductive medicine specialist at Cape Fertility in Cape Town, in the Western Cape, told us that "We actually don’t encourage multiple pregnancies, and there is no natural way to boost the chances."

She added that when it comes to fertility treatments the clinic actively avoids multiple pregnancies.

This is for health and safety reasons, as there are numerous risks attached to a pregnancy where multiple babies are conceived, and mother and babies are at higher risk of complications.

Nonetheless, these are the factors that could contribute to twins or triplets, or more, being conceived naturally. 

Age

Fertility research shows that twins, especially non-identical twins, are more common in women over 35. 

Due to the ovaries starting to release more than one egg each month just before a woman enters peri-menopause, older women are slightly more likely to fall pregnant with twins or triplets.

WATCH | Malian woman gives birth to nine babies in possible world first

Fertility treatments

Fertility assistance will help stimulate the ovaries to support more than one ovarian follicle each month towards maturity resulting in more than one egg being produced, but this is not to be attempted without the support of an ethical doctor. 

Some small studies have shown that taking a folic acid supplement before you try to conceive may also boost your chances of having twins. 

Family history 

Family history plays a huge role in your chances of having twins.

Women who come from a family where non-identical twins are common, obviously have a higher chance of having non-identical twins than women who don't have that history.

Identical twins can be conceived in any family.

Women who already have a set of twins have better chances of having another pair of twins. 

Previous pregnancy

Having been pregnant before helps boost your chances of having twins.

This theory is based on pure maths that the more times you conceive, the greater the likelihood of creating more than one baby.

Trying to conceiving while on the pill

There have been higher incidents of women conceiving with twins when they are on oral contraceptives. In other words, trying to conceive straight after you have stopped taking the pill can increase your chances of having twins.

Source: URMC Health Encyclopedia

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