Expert Q&A: What Are My Chances of Getting Pregnant With Twins? by Dr. Alan Lindemann
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Q. What are my chances of having twins?
A. Simply put, there are two kinds of twins. Those from one egg (oocyte) which splits into two. These are called monozygotic twins, and are what we commonly call identical twins. The other kind of twins come from two eggs, and are called dizygotic. Monozygotic twins occur at a relatively constant rate regardless of demographics such as who you are or where you live. That rate is one set of twins in 250 births.
Dizgotic twinning, that is two eggs, varies from nation to nation, heredity, race, maternal age and number of pregnancies. These twins can look much alike, but are not identical. The use of oral Clomid for infertility has been shown to increase the rate of twins.
In one study of twinning, the rate of twinning was 3.5 percent for black women, 3.0 percent for white women, while the rates for Asian, Hispanic Americans and native women were a lot less. In one study in a rural community in Nigeria, twinning occurred in one in 20 births.
Maternal age is a risk factor. From the age of 15 to 37, twinning increases four times. Increasing parity is also a risk factor, which means that dizygotic twinning runs in families. I know a lady who has two sets of twins, all living. Family history.
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