The Possibility of Having Twins


Now that you’ve confirmed that you’re really pregnant, your mind might have started to wander in new directions. Will I have a boy or a girl? What will my baby look like? Could it be twins? While you can’t know for sure how many babies you’re carrying until your first ultrasound, it can be fun to think about the odds of having multiples and what the signs might be.

What are my chances of having twins?

If you look at the general population, about one in every 30 pregnancies results in twins. Most of these are fraternal twins, with only about one in every 225 pregnancies turning out to be identical twins.

What might increase my odds?

Your own odds of having twins might be very different from those of the general population. For example, if you used fertility treatments, you’re anywhere from two to 10 times more likely to conceive fraternal twins, depending on which treatment you used (and your likelihood of conceiving identical twins is about double that of a woman who did not use treatment). You may be more likely to have twins if:

  • You and/or your partner have fraternal twins in your family
  • You’re over age 35
  • You’re above average in height
  • You’re overweight
  • You’re African American
  • You consume animal products (especially dairy) in your diet
  • You eat a lot of yams (weird, we know)
  • You’ve been pregnant before (especially if you’ve already had a set of fraternal twins)

What are signs and symptoms of a twin pregnancy?

Women who are carrying more than one baby may be more likely to show the following signs and symptoms:

  • Higher-than-normal levels of hCG (the pregnancy hormone)
  • Morning sickness (sometimes severe)
  • Extreme fatigue
  • “Measuring large” or gaining extra weight
  • Intuition or a “hunch” that you might have twins

Find an OBGYN near you.