How to Conceive Twins

Pregnant with twin babies

If you're thinking about expanding your family, you may find yourself wondering how to conceive twins. Luckily, there is some promising research that might help.

What Causes Twins?

Twins are the result of two babies being produced from one pregnancy. They can be either identical or fraternal.

Identical Twins

These children are created when one fertilized egg splits into two separate embryos in the days after conception. Identical twins will look the same, may have some of the same personality characteristics, and will be the same gender. This type of twin is rarer and occurs for reasons that are still not fully understood.

Fraternal Twins

This more common form of twins happens when two eggs are fertilized at the same time, creating two embryos. They may be different genders and can have different features and appearances. Fraternal twins can run in families through the maternal side of the family. In other words, if your mom naturally produced fraternal twins, you may have a higher chance of conceiving them yourself.

The same is not true from the male side. A man who is a twin is no more likely to produce twins himself since it is the mother's ovaries that produce multiple eggs.

How to Conceive Twins

Currently, science hasn't been able to determine much about how to conceive twins who are identical. There are, however, some commonalities to women who conceive fraternal twins, including:

  • Conceiving between 30 and 40 years of age, especially after age 35
  • Being slightly overweight or taller than average
  • Having previous pregnancies

Whether you fall into one or more of these categories or not, the main thing you have to do to conceive twins is make yourself hyperovulate, which means that you produce more than one egg during your monthly ovulation.

Some women may hyperovulate naturally most months or it could happen as a fluke, but there may be some ways to influence it if you are truly interested in how to conceive twins.

Encouraging Hyperovulation

There are a few theories about how to hyperovulate, but remember that these will only increase your chances slightly. They are not guarantees that you'll conceive twins.

Nutrition

Being well-nourished is a good first step when you are trying to conceive; it can also help you conceive twins.

Supplements

Folic acid, which many women take when they are pregnant to prevent birth defects, may also increase the likelihood of conceiving twins. A recent study showed that women who take folic acid before getting pregnant have a 40 percent greater chance of conceiving twins than woman who did not take folic acid.

Yams

Surprisingly, good old-fashioned yams might help you conceive twins. This research is based on an African tribe that uses yams as a main staple of their diet and produces a large percentage of twins. Though the exact cause isn't known, researchers believe a chemical in the yams increases the likelihood of hyperovulation.

Fertility Assistance

If you have diagnosed fertility problems and are taking fertility medication like Clomid, you are more likely to conceive twins. Other medications, like Pergonal, increase your chances even more.

If your fertility problems continue and you consider using IVF or intrauterine insemination, you'll really be increasing your likelihood of twins. In IVF, your doctor may implant more than one embryo in your uterus, making it likely that at least two of them will mature. This can sometimes lead to multiple births of four or five children, however. Talk to your doctor about ways you can reduce this risk if you do not want more than twins.

With most cases of intrauterine insemination, you will be given medication to stimulate your ovaries. This can result in more than one being produced during ovulation, increasing your chances of having twins if both embryos full develop.


Keep in mind that a pregnancy with twins has higher risks to both the mom and the babies than a single pregnancy. The decision to try for twins shouldn't be made without careful consideration.

How to Conceive Twins