I've heard the chances of having twins are higher the older you are when you get pregnant. This is also my first pregnancy. There are many sets of twins on both sides of our families but I've been reading that twins are not genetic? Has anyone heard of any details on this topic? We're hoping for twins!
Identical twins do not run in families and a history of fraternal twins only helps if it comes in on the mother's side.
Because fraternal twins happen by mom releasing two eggs, the dad's side of the family doesn't come into play.
Some statistics. A woman who is herself a fraternal twin is 2.5 times as likely to have twins as someone from the general population. A mother of fraternal twins is 3-4 times more likely to have another set of fraternal twins. A woman who is an identical twin is no more likely to have twins compared to someone else.
Why do fraternal twins run in the family but not identical twins? It makes sense once we understand the differences between the two types of twins.
Identical twins come from the same fertilized egg. What this means is that they share all the same genes and DNA. (Amazingly, though, their fingerprints are different). The frequency of identical twins is the same everywhere, about four in every 1000 births.
This is different than what happens with fraternal twins. Fraternal twins come from two different eggs. They are really like any two siblings who happen to be born at the same time.
What happens with fraternal twins is that the mom releases more than one egg at a time. (In other words, she ovulates more than once per menstrual cycle). Twins result from two eggs getting fertilized and growing in the uterus at the same time. Around twelve pairs of fraternal twins are born every 1000 births.
Because they come from different sperm-egg pairs, they don't look any more alike than any other siblings. This is also why half of fraternal twins are a boy and a girl.
Fraternal twins result from two ovulations, while identical twins result from the splitting of one embryo into two. Ovulation is a normal process that involves many genes. Embryo splitting, on the other hand, appears to occur randomly by chance.
In other words, your genes can affect whether you have fraternal twins because genes are involved in the process. Identical twins are random, and so genes don't have much influence at all.
I am 35 and am carrying a set of fraternal twins. There have been cases of twins on my father's side only. I never thought it would happen to me. I read somewhere that healthy strong women happen to have twins more often because their bodies are able to handle it better and nature gives them more ovulating opportunities in the cycle. I truly hope you'll get pregnant with twins, its such a blessing. They also say consuming lots of yams helps increase fertility. My mom says that I have twins because I was on a birth control pill for a while and my cycles were messed up afterwards.
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