I really enjoy meeting other multiple mums and dads but one question perhaps more relaxed with other multiple mums but considered rude if asked by a stranger is how to have twins. In addition to how to have twins one irritable question “Are they natural?” where there are all kinds of smart quips to respond too if you are so inclined. But if you really want to know how to have twins these are the 3 main ways:

  1. Spontaneous twins.Yes I was bemused on this medical term written on my records but spontaneous twins (or higher order multiples) are the ones believed to be the “natural” type that other people are comparing your brood too.
    1. Spontaneous twins can be heredity if you are a woman who carries a gene for hyper ovulation. Hyper ovulation is the tendency to release multiple eggs during ovulation, increasing the chances of conceiving dizygotic (or fraternal) twins.
    2. Increased maternal age can also contribute to the incidence of hyper ovulation too.  I have a few stories of mums after a few kids saying “we just went back for number 3, and ended up with 3 + 4.”
  2. Fertility drugs. For alternative medical reasons your doctor may have prescribed fertility drugs to assist with hyper ovulation and pregnancy. Multiples can also be a consequent!
  3. IVF. If your doctor returns two or more embryos, get ready for the higher chance of having twins. However identical twins have also been conceived through IVF if at the early stage the embryo splits anyway. This can happen and cause for triplets where 2 embryos were returned but 1 split equaling 3 (one fraternal and two identical). Fun stuff!

How to Have Twins

So ultimately I really don’t care how your multiples were conceived as I have wonderful friends whom have conceived multiples by spontaneous fraternal, identical or both as with triplets families, as well as reasons for IVF where pregnancy was a little difficult, alternative reasons to try fertility drugs and even where multiple embryos were adopted from one family to another but my gripe is where the media or other people just get it plain wrong. Everyone loves a multiple birth story but these stories are just not correct:

  • Repeated focus on higher orders multiple (HOM) mums (especially 4 or more) that have conceived spontaneous “naturally”  (which can happen of course – I read some lovely blogs of Identical Triplet girls!) but it later reports they had some assistance by fertility drugs. It is either one or the other. Why do you want to hide the fact fertility drugs were used under the more acceptable term of “naturally”?
  • Another frustration I have is mothers whom have had subsequent single pregnancies from the same batch of original embryo’s but will tell everyone that their two kids are twins but born 2 years apart. They are not twins! Twins are two offspring produced in the same pregnancy and irrelevant that the embryos were created at the same time but one left for a later date?


Do you get asked how to have Twins?