Do the Chances of Conceiving Multiples Run in Families?

Fact or Fiction? The only chance a woman has of conceiving multiples is if multiples run in her family or the baby’s father’s family.

Fiction. A woman also increases the likelihood of becoming pregnant with multiples if she:

• Is large and tall.

• Is older than thirty-five.

• Is Caucasian or African-American. (Multiples are less common in Asian and Hispanic women.)

• Had at least one other pregnancy.

• Used fertility drugs that increase the number of eggs released during ovulation.

• Had more than one egg implanted during procedures, such as in vitro fertilization.

Most of these factors affect only the rate of fraternal twins, triplets, or higher-order multiples, because the occurrence of identical siblings is an unpredictable and random event.

Excerpted from: Pregnancy, Childbirth and the Newborn

© copyright 2010 by Parent Trust for Washington Children with permission from its publisher Meadowbrook Press.