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Do Twins Run In Jay Z's Family?

On Wednesday, Beyoncé announced via Instagram that she's pregnant with twins, and the world forgot to worry about President Donald Trump for a solid 20 minutes. Her pregnancy will no doubt be the cheerful distraction that Americans turn to during its dark times for months to come. We know next to nothing about the pregnancy, so fans have to speculate on everything, like wondering if twins run in Jay Z's family, because everyone already knows that Beyonc é's sister, Solange isn't her twin, and her two younger half-siblings were also single births.

Jay Z has an older brother, Eric, and two older sisters, Andrea and Michelle. But it actually makes no genetic difference if Jay Z has any twins in his family. You may have heard that twins run in families, and while that's true, it's not the whole story. Identical twins are caused by a zygote spontaneously dividing in two, and no genetic cause has ever been identified, according to the National Library of medicine. Fraternal twins come from two separate eggs getting fertilized by two different sperm. Normally, only one egg is released during ovulation, but according to Live Science, between 40 million and 1.2 billion sperm cells are released in a single, um, event. If Beyoncé released an extra egg, Jay Z's ancestors had nothing to do with it.

Hyperovulation, or releasing more than one egg at a time, is known to run in families (on the mother's side), but genetics aren't the only cause of fraternal twins. Multiple births are slightly more common with African American mothers, and they're also more common with taller women. The average U.S. woman is 5 feet, 3.75 inches, and Beyoncé 5 feet, 7 inches.

Finally, while I'm not calling Beyoncé old (because she's not, because I'm older than her, and because I'm terrified of the Beyhive), 35 is the cutoff for "advanced maternal age." While it's harder to get pregnant after 35, it's actually more common to have multiples after 35 as well, because higher levels of the follicle-stimulating hormone can cause hyperovulation. And going down that road, if Beyoncé did have trouble conceiving, she may have taken fertility drugs (again with the hyperovulation), or utilized in vitro fertilization and had more than one egg transferred at once. Of course, we may never know the cause of Beyoncé's twins. She might not even know, herself. But it definitely wasn't her husband's genes. There are 99 causes of twins, but Jay Z ain't one.