The only thing more exciting and complicated and life-changing than having a new baby is having two of them; or three of them, or even more.
Yes, twins, triplets and other multiples are rare. But they do happen. They could happen to you. If you’re reading this, you might have already received the surprising news that you’re pregnant with multiples.
Maybe twins simply “run in your family,” and you want to find out what your odds are of having two, or three, babies instead of one. Let’s start by demystifying the types and causes of multiple births….
Fraternal vs Identical Twins: What’s the Difference?
Do you know why some twins look alike and others don’t? It’s because there are two TYPES of twins: identical and fraternal.
Identical twins are caused when ONE egg is fertilised with one sperm, but the egg splits into two (or more) and each part grows into a separate foetus. Since these foetuses come from the same egg and sperm, they share an identical genetic blueprint. That’s why they end up looking almost exactly alike.
However, paternal twins come from two separate eggs, fertilized by two different sperms during two different conceptions. This might sound hard to believe, but in some, very rare, cases, paternal twins can even be conceived by two different fathers.
So if you’re trying to get pregnant, and you’ve recently succeeded, you could still inadvertently succeed in conceiving again, and having paternal twins.
Or, that ONE fertilised egg could simply divide into two, three, even four (or more), and you could end up getting a lot more than you bargained for over the next 10 months.
However, you should be careful about believing the old wives’ tale that twins, or multiples, “run in your family.” Sometimes, it’s simply a matter of coincidence, not genetics.
Can Fertility Drugs Increase My Odds of Having Twins?
Yes, they certainly can. Since fertility drugs make you more fertile, they naturally increase your odds of having paternal twins, triplets, quintuplets, etc.
This is considered one of the “risk factors” of using fertility drugs. Unless, of course, your goal is to have as many babies as you can at once…but who would? This certainly doesn’t mean that the odds are always increased by the same measure. It depends on what kind of fertility drugs you’re taking, and a few other factors.
If you’re thinking about using fertility drugs to get pregnant, you should talk to your doctor about ALL the pros and cons before you decide. Call us if that’s something you’re considering.
Is There Greater Risk of Complications?
Any pregnancy carries at least a slight risk of complications. And, of course, the more babies you have in your uterus, the more uncertainty. But don’t start doing the maths just yet. It’s not as simple as doubling, or tripling the odds of complications.
Plenty of mothers have perfectly healthy, naturally occurring pregnancies in spite of having twins, triplets or even quadruplets. But if you’ve got more than one baby on the way, there are definitely things you’ll need to know.
We suggest you find a doctor who has some experience in working with mothers who have been pregnant with, and who have delivered, multiple babies at once.
We have, and we can help. So whether your pregnant with twins, thinking about fertility treatments, or just have questions, pick up the phone and call us on (02) 4959 3883. Thanks for visiting our website, we look forward to talking to you. Contact Us