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Multiples Mania

StorkNet.com > Pregnancy Channel > Parenting Channel > Multiples Mania Cubby > Twins' & More Articles
 Odds of Having Multiples
Do twins or more run in your family? Identical twinning is completely random and universal for all countries and ethnicities. The odds are 1 in 285. If one of your parents is an identical twin or if you (or your partner) is an identical twin, your odds are no higher for having twins than anyone else.

However, according to Barbara Luke, author of When You're Expecting Twins, Triplets, or Quads, "Some women are naturally prone to producing more than one egg during ovulation and are therefore more likely to give birth to FRATERNAL twins or supertwins. This tendency runs in families, and you can inherit the trait through either your mother's or father's side of the family." Dr. Luke adds that your male partner's family history has no influence on your chances for conceiving multiples; it's the mother's ovulation pattern that determines twinning. Your partner may be a twin himself, but that does not increase your chance of having twins.

You have an increased chances of conceiving multiples if:

  • you're over 35
  • you conceived in the first month after discontinuing birth control pills
  • you're African American
  • you've used assisted reproductive technology to conceive
  • you've already had several children
  • you have a previous set of FRATERNAL twins
  • you (the mother) is a FRATERNAL twin

In 2000, the Centers for Disease Control reported that in the United States:

  • 118,916 twins were born
  • 6,742 triplets were born
  • 506 quadruplets were born
  • 77 quintuplets + were born
In the US in 2000, 2.9% of all births were twins. Your odds go up considerably if you're using fertility drugs;

Multiples Natural Incidence (no ART) Odds With Fertility Drugs
twins 1 in 90 1 in 35
triplets 1 in 8,100 1 in 700+
quadruplets 1 in 729,000   

If you use any form of fertility treatment, you chance of multiples is greater than 1 in 3.

Your chance of having monozygotic (identical) twins is 4 in 1000 and 1/3 of all twins are identical.

So what are your chances of having twins again? If you're using fertility treatments, your odds are the same as they were the first time. If you're not using fertility treatments, your odds of having a second set of fraternal twins quadruples. The odds of having two sets of identicals is 1 in 70,000 or less.

Click here for Statistics About Triplet and Higher-Order Births from the CDC


  1. Luke, Barbara and Tamara Eberlein, When You're Expecting Twins, Triplets, or Quads

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