The idea of having multiple babies to care for excites some parents and terrifies others (and it's undoubtedly a lot of work), but if you've ever wondered about what sort of things might actually affect your chances of getting pregnant with multiples, there are a few things to know. You may have heard that if someone has a history of twins (or multiples in general) in their family, that they're more likely to have multiples as well. That's true, to a certain extent. But if you're wanting to know how to get pregnant with twins, there are a number of additional factors that might influence your chances or increase your odds.
Some of the factors that might influence whether or not you get pregnant with multiples are things that you have some control over, like what you eat, but others, like your age or height, are things that are a little bit more out of your control. There's more research that's likely needed for several of the things that some experts think might affect your odds of getting pregnant with multiples to see if they might truly have an effect or not (and how that potential influence might work), but knowing some of the factors that might raise your chances, whether you're hoping for multiples or just curious about how this all might work, can make you feel like you understand things a little bit better — and maybe help prevent you from being completely flabbergasted if your doctor later tells you that you're pregnant with twins yourself.
1. Eating Yams
It's unclear if this is just a coincidence or if there's something about yams that really can influence if you get pregnant with multiples or not, but Everyday Health noted that some researchers think there could be a connection here because rates of twins are higher in populations where people eat more wild yams. This is something that absolutely requires more research, but yams are super nutritious, so eating a few more might not be all bad.
2. Experiencing More Pregnancies
You may not have known this, but the more pregnancies you've experienced, the more likely you might be to get pregnant with twins, Baby Center noted. Though it might sound surprising that these things would be affected, if you've been pregnant before, you should definitely know that twins might be a bigger possibility.
3. Using Fertility Drugs
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and Brown University researchers reported that using fertility drugs in an effort to boost your fertility and enabling you to conceive might also increase your likelihood of getting pregnant with multiples. The 2013 report was published in the New England Journal of Medicine. The idea is that since these kinds of drugs (either pills or shots) are designed to encourage the ovaries to produce eggs, that increases the chances of multiples.
4. Weighing More
WebMD reported that a 2005 study found that moms-to-be with a BMI of 30 or above, which is considered "obese" are more likely to get pregnant with fraternal twins that those with lower BMIs. That being said, weighing more can also sometimes cause difficulties conceiving, as VeryWell noted, so it's a complicated matter.
5. Getting Pregnant When You're Older
The older you are, the higher your chances of getting pregnant with twins, Dr. Nancy Segal, PhD, an expert on twins, told Health. That's because your body is more likely to release more than just one egg at a time when you're older than it is when you're younger.
6. Being Taller
If you're relatively tall, that too could increase your chances of getting pregnant with twins. Healthline noted that researchers aren't exactly sure why this might be, but have theorized that it could be that taller women are getting more nutrition than smaller women.
7. Your Genes
You've likely heard that if twins run in your family, you're more likely to get pregnant with multiples yourself. As it turns out, that's true, but only to an extent. The previously-mentioned article from Healthline noted that if you or your partner has fraternal twins in your family, that can up your odds. But identical twins don't seem to have a genetic link, as Baby Center UK noted. The splitting of an egg is apparently more sporadic than genetic.
There are a variety of factors that can influence how likely you might be to get pregnant with twins. Knowing what they are gives you more information about what might be in your future (or not).