This is my third post on the topic conception and fertility and perhaps also the most interesting and thought-provoking, I’ve explained the tips on how to conceive a boy and how to conceive a girl, now we move on to something more difficult, something I too haven’t had the chance to test out, at least not just yet. As you all know, I just love giving tips, it’s really a great feeling when you give someone hope. The corners of their mouths point upward slightly, giving a hint of a curious smile, the apples of their cheeks become more prominent and sometimes even light up a sweet shade of pink, and the outer corners of their eyes wrinkling up just a little bit as their faces light up…….yes, I know you are smiling because I’m smiling too as I write this post. And if I made you smile, don’t forget to leave a comment and more importantly share this article with someone else, spread the word, spread the love!
Having twins apparently is the in thing right now, it is the rave! As more and more women are getting married and starting their family at a later age, more and more are wishing they can complete their families as soon as possible. For those of you who have always had this secret wish, for those of you who are ready physically, mentally and more importantly financially….well I say, why not? For the purpose of this article, I shall concentrate more on how to conceive twins naturally. As many of you know, even though I am a doctor I will always prefer the natural way to do things, taking medications to induce hyperovulation states are not without its’ side effects.
Wait Till You’re Older. I think it’s really great to know as most of us are fretting about our biological clock ticking (though it might just be me as I just turned 35 a few weeks back…aarrgghh), there’s at least one good thing I can tell you about getting older. Your chances of conceiving twins is higher! Older mothers are more likely to conceive twins than their younger counterparts. It is thought that the body accelerates ovulation as the biological clock starts ticking faster. My suggestion is to get pregnant at the age of 35-40. It is interesting to note that 17% of mothers over age 45 have multiples. Wait five more years and the odds rise to one in nine! However, the risks of pregnancy at this age is also increased; older mothers have a higher rate of miscarriage and are more likely to experience problems such as gestational diabetes during their pregnancy; in addition, their babies are at higher risk for chromosomal abnormalities.
Eat Lots Of Yams. There is a little-known place many call ” The Land Of Twins”, it’s a sleepy old town named Igbo-Ora located in the southwest region of Nigeria. Central to the Yoruba people’s diet is cassava root, a type of wild yam. Research into multiple births carried out at Lagos’s University Teaching Hospital has suggested that a high level of a chemical found in the Yoruba women and the peelings of the cassava root could account for the high level of multiple births. Yams is thought to be high in three substances that are very helpful to fertility. First, arginine, which is an amino acid that is very helpful in increasing fertility. Reproductive endocronologists have been known to use arginine to help more mature women increase their egg quality. Second, aspartic acid. Arginine is synthesized from this nutrient also. Then, glutamic acid which is a component of folate. With nutrient credentials like that, you’re bound to be moving in the right direction!
Eat Dairy Products. A 2006 study found that women who consume dairy are five times as likely to have twins. Perhaps because they come from growth-hormone-treated cows, dairy products increase your chances of conceiving twins. So, get your fill of milk, yogurt and those delectable cheeses right now…yummm!
Take Folic Acid. It is recommended that you start taking folic acid 3 months prior to conception. This supplement does more than prevent neural birth defects like spina bifida; it also greatly increases your chances of conceiving twins! You can also get more of this fabulous B-vitamin by eating plenty of dark green leafies. If you’re aged 35 or over, adding a digestive enzyme will also help to enhance your absorption of this very essential vitamin. We lose our digestive capabilities as we age, which can decrease our levels of certain nutrients that are imperative in getting a successful pregnancy off the ground, so adding an enzyme could never hurt.
Gain Weight. A study published by the American College of Obstetrics and Gynecology linked the rising rate of multiple births with the rise in overweight mothers. According to the article: “Women with a pre-pregnancy body mass index (BMI) of 30 or more are significantly more likely to have dizygotic twins (fraternal twins, each formed from a separate egg and sperm) than are women with lower BMIs. This may be due to the increased estrogen levels which helps aid in the follicular development of more than a single ovum. With more than one dominantely mature ovum there is a good possibility of more than one egg being released.
Get Pregnant While Breastfeeding. I’ve always stressed to my patients that only exclusive breastfeeding on demand prevents a woman from ovulating. Exclusive means the baby is only fed breastmilk , the baby is not fed any water or any formula or any baby food for that matter. Breastfeeding on demand means the baby must be fed every single time he demands it. Having said that, plenty of mothers of twins can disprove that theory. Some research has also supported the theory that the chance of twins or multiples is increased if a woman conceives while breastfeeding.
Get Pregnant On the Pill. Birth control pills are usually thought to be 99.9 percent effective at preventing pregnancy. However, that .01 percent often results in a double whammy — multiples. Sometimes pregnancy occurs when the pill isn’t taken consistently; in other cases, the hormonal mix of a particular drug type simply doesn’t provide enough coverage to completely prevent ovulation. In either case, playing around with hormones can lead to hyperovulation, increasing the chances of multiples.
Have A Big Family. The more kids you have, the more likely you are to conceive twins in a subsequent pregnancy. No one knows the magic limit that triggers a multiple pregnancy, so you’ll just have to keep trying until it happens.
Have More Twins. Once you have had a multiple pregnancy, you are significantly more likely to conceive — and deliver — twins again! Some estimates suggest that mothers of twins are four times more likely to have twins again than a woman who has never been pregnant, or who only had a singleton.
Have A Family History of Twins. If fraternal twins run in a female’s family, her odds of conceiving twins are much greater! The gene for hyperovulation may be passed down from generation to generation. It’s a myth that twins skip a generation. Often the gene will be passed down to a male member of the family, then he will in turn pass it down to one of his daughters who will then have twins.
Conceive in July. More twins are conceived in July, and the least in January. The theory is that it’s due to the effect of the length of daylight on the secretion of Follicle Stimulating Hormone.
Seek Fertility Assistance. (I’m only mentioning this for completion, I strongly prefer and recommend the natural ways stated above.) Reproductive technology has dramatically increased the multiple birth rate. Drugs that stimulate ovulation can lead to a multiple pregnancy, but multiples can also result from in vitro fertilization. It’s not just that multiple embryos are implanted in the mother, but there is also an unexplained increase in the number of monozygotic twins among IVF patients. No ethical doctor would provide treatment if it wasn’t warranted, so fertility assistance should only be sought out when necessary.
Get Lucky. I have to admit I had a lot of fun reading and writing up this topic. Who wouldn’t like it if your doctor gives you good news about turning 35. I’m also telling you to take more of that cheese you love so much. Have a hearty meal and gain some weight. Have sex in July! At the end of the day my advice is to have lots of fun trying and lets all pray that you get lucky and maybe ….just maybe 9 months from now, someone will thank me.