How to have triplets? Here`s a question that may pop-up in the mind of some of the mothers out there. If you are here, you are probably among the mothers who wanted twins or triplets, but you aren`t sure if the genetic factor gives you any chances because in your family there weren`t ever multiple pregnancies. However, despite the genetic baggage, it seems that there are also other cases in which we can have a multiple pregnancy.
Table of Contents
- 1 History & Statistics
- 2 What Is a Multiple Pregnancy?
- 3 How to Have Triplets?
- 3.1 If You Become Pregnancy While Breastfeeding, You Are Likely to Have More Children
- 3.2 IVF Increases Your Chance of Having Twins or Triplets
- 3.3 Nutrition that Include Dairy Foods Increase Your Chances for Triplets
- 3.4 Cows Treated with Hormones
- 3.5 Weight & Height
- 3.6 A Pregnancy at an Older Age
- 3.7 IGF Protein Increases the Chance of Having Triplets
- 3.8 Genes Can Program Twins or Triplets
History & Statistics
Greek mythology and the Bible provide some early examples of multiple pregnancies. Romulus and Remus were twins raised by a female wolf. Saul and Jacob were the twins of Isaac and Rebecca. The overall rate of twin pregnancies is of 1.2 out of 100 births, depending on the type of twins. The triplets occur in 1 out of 6889 births, while quadruplets in 1 out of 575000 births. These statistics don`t include pregnancies who were followed by the early loss of one of the children. Pregnancy tests performed at home and the usage of ultrasounds has demonstrated a larger number of multiple pregnancies than the statistics showed above. So, if you are diagnosed early with a multiple pregnancy (4 to 6 weeks), you need to be aware of the possibility of a pregnancy loss. However, once the normal weight increase, sizes and normal heart beats were confirmed, this risk of pregnancy loss decreases significantly.
What Is a Multiple Pregnancy?
A multiple pregnancy takes place when a single egg divides before is fertilized, or even more eggs are fertilized by more spermatozoids. Identical twins or triplets appear when is fertilized a single egg, an egg that later divides in 2, 3 or several embryos. Twins or triplets have the same genetic identity, same sex and have almost the same facial characteristics.
Fraternal twins develop from separate eggs, each of them being fertilized by a different spermatozoid. Fraternal twins can have the same sex or not and not always can have the same facial characteristics.
Multiple pregnancies became more and more common in the last recent years, because more and more couples use drugs and treatments against infertility to help them conceive children.
In a pregnancy with triplets, we may find either identical triplets, fraternal triplets or both identical and fraternal triplets. This occurs when several eggs are fertilized. If one or more of these eggs divide in 2 or more embryos, we`ll have a mixture of identical and fraternal triplets.
How to Have Triplets?
Do you want to have triplets? An American gynecologist, known for his studies on multiple pregnancies have find out that changes in diet may affect the chances of a woman to have twins or triplets, and her chances for a multiple pregnancy are determined by a combination between heredity and nutrition. During a series of studies on this subject, experts made some surprising discoveries.
If You Become Pregnancy While Breastfeeding, You Are Likely to Have More Children
Women who conceive while breastfeeding have 9 times more chances to conceive twins or triplets than those who don`t breastfeeding at the time of conception.
IVF Increases Your Chance of Having Twins or Triplets
Experts have confirmed, after a recent study on the mechanism through which twins are formed, that by using IVF methods you`ll increase your chances of having monozygotic twins or triplets. In this case, the transfer and implantation of 2 embryos may lead to the formation of 3 children. Experts have suggested that a supplement of calcium or a decrease in the amount of chelating agent, known as ethylenediaminetetraacetic acid, in the IVF incubation environment, might reduce the risks for any unwanted complications. Lots of women who turn to IVF treatments have higher chances of having twins or triplets.
Nutrition that Include Dairy Foods Increase Your Chances for Triplets
Women who consume animal products, especially dairy, have 5 times more chances of having a multiple pregnancy. The fault may belong to a protein, known as insulin-like growth factor (IGF), which is produced by the liver of some animals (and humans) as a reaction to the hormone of growth that circulates in the body and reaches the milk of animals. This protein increases the sensitivity of ovaries in the hormones that stimulates the follicles, therefore increasing ovulation. Some studies also suggest that this protein can help embryos to survive in the early stages of development.
The concentration of IGF in blood is of around 13% smaller in women who follow a vegan diet than women who consume dairy products.
Cows Treated with Hormones
According to experts, the increase of the rate of twins in the 1990s can be considered a consequence of introducing a treatment of growth hormones in cows to improve their milk and meat production. A study has compared the rate of twins in women with a regular diet, of those who followed a vegan diet with dairy products and those who only followed a vegan diet, and find that the percentage of twins in vegan women was 5 times smaller than those who included milk in their diet.
Weight & Height
The American College of Obstetrics & Gynecology has launched a study that involved 50.000 of births in the United States, which showed that women with a body index of 30 or higher have higher chances of having twins. The study has also shown that tall women (over the 75 percentile) are more prone to having a multiple pregnancy.
A Pregnancy at an Older Age
The conscious postponing of the moment when you want to conceive a child may also contribute in multiple pregnancies, because older women have higher chances of having twins or triplets without the help of assisted reproductive techniques.
IGF Protein Increases the Chance of Having Triplets
Besides the influence of diet on the level of insulin-like growth factor, there`s also a genetic link. Experts have discovered through extensive research on African-American, Asian and Caucasian populations that the level of IGF is higher in the African-American women than in Asian women. Some women are simply “programmed” genetically to produce a higher amount of IGF than others. The rate of twins or triplets from these demographic groups corresponds with the level of this protein.
Genes Can Program Twins or Triplets
This study has shown for the first time that the chance of having twins or triplets is affected by genetics or environment. The discovers are similar to the ones made on cows by other experts, proving again that the chance of a woman having twins or triplets is directly related to the IGF level in her blood.
Also, the study has shown that identical twins are more frequently girls than boys, especially in the sets of Siamese twins, and pregnancies monozygotic twins have a higher risk of miscarriage than those with dizygotic twins.
Studies have also offered proof by fingerprint analysis that as the number of fetuses in a monozygotic set grows, it also increases the level of physical diversity between them.
Note: Because multiple pregnancies are more exposed to complications, such as congenital abnormalities, hypertension or premature labor, the discoveries of these studies suggest that women who want to become pregnant should taken into account replacing the meat and dairy products with other sources of proteins, especially in the countries who allow the administration of growth hormones in cattle.