For a range of reasons, some couples wish to conceive twins. Although there are no guarantees, there are both natural and medical methods that can increase the chance of falling pregnant with multiples.
Before attempting to conceive multiples, keep in mind that there are higher risks involved, including health risks from premature cord clamping and babies being born too soon due to early induction.
- The average woman has a 3% chance of conceiving twins.
- Statistically, African women have a higher chance of conceiving twins, while Asian women have a lower chance.
- Having four or more babies drastically increases the chances of twins in future pregnancies.
- Identical twins can happen to anyone; fraternal twins usually run in the maternal side as hyperovulation often runs in families. You can read more about the causes of hyperovulation.
What you can do
- Folate – Studies have shown women who have folate (folic acid is preferable to the man made folic acid) have a 40% increase in twin pregnancies, although this appears to be more particularly aimed at women who’ve had IVF.
- Cassava – This African variant of sweet potato is believed to cause hyperovulation and increase the chance of multiples. Cassanovum, is the one I chose to purchase after researching the many brands available. It’s made using the most potent part of the plant, contains folate and has a variety of other herbs to help with pregnancy.
- Dairy – Studies have shown women who consume a lot of dairy are more likely to conceive twins. This is believed to be due to Insulin-like Growth Factor (IGF) in cows and possibly some of the hormones they have administered to them.
- Age – Older women produce higher amounts of FSH (follicle stimulating hormone) which increases the chance of dropping multiple eggs. However fertility rates also go down as women age, so waiting too long can also lower the chances of falling pregnant at all.
- Hyperovulation – When two or more eggs drop during ovulation. This can happen due to genetics, menopause, age, taking cassava and a range of other hormonal reasons.
- In the Family – If the woman’s side of the family has twins in it (due to genetic hyperovulation), her chance of conceiving twins is higher.
- Weight – Women who are tall and of medium or high weight ranges have a higher chance of conceiving twins.
- Breastfeeding – If you’re breastfeeding when you fall pregnant, the likelihood of twins is higher.
- Lot of Babies – The more babies you have, the more chance you’ll fall pregnant with multiples.
- Magnesium/Calcium – There is anecdotal evidence that taking these two in combination can increase the risk of twins (although you should check dosage with your doctor/chemist). It may also increase the chance of having girls.
- Stopping Birth Control – If you’ve been on hormonal birth control for six months or longer and stop, it can take several cycles before the body adjusts to the change. This can increase hormone levels and the chances of multiple eggs dropping.
- Maca Root – A Peruvian fertility treatment that appears to increase the chance of twins. Side effects may include mood swings and other issues, so make sure you do your research and correctly dose if you’re planning to try this.
- Pineapple Core– The core of the pineapple contains the highest concentrations of bromelain, which anecdotally is supposed to increase the chances of implantation following ovulation. However it’s also associated with contractions and miscarriage with over use, so should be used with care and your own research. It can be taken in raw form or pill form.
- Medical Methods – Taking fertility drugs such as Clomid (prescription only, and should be taken with medical supervision) as well as multiple egg implantation via IVF can often increase the chance of multiples.
- Miscarriage – Although a terribly sad event for any parent, sometimes a blessing can follow. Anecdotally, women are more likely to conceive twins after a miscarriage
WARNING: You should never take any type of herbal or pharmaceutical supplement without talking to your doctor and/or doing your own research. Anecdotal evidence is not enough. Some of these products cause high/low blood pressure, interact badly with other drugs you may be taking or may contain additives that are not fully tested (especially if you buy from a non-reputable brand).