Older or Younger Women: Who Is More Likely to Have Twins?

Whether you heard it from your mom or best friend who has had lots of kids or from someone way back in highschool, there are a lot of crazy superstitions and stories out there about women and pregnancy.

Here's what you may have heard: Twins are more common in older women

Is this just a myth or is there some truth behind it?

RELATED Motherhood At 40: What Moms Don't Want To Hear

Actually, this one is true.

Fertility treatments and the use of assisted reproduction by in vitro fertilization (IVF) result in a higher frequency of twin (and multiple) births. 

Despite the fact that IVF use is more common in older reproductive-aged women, the rate of spontaneous twin birth is still more common in women over 30.  Age-related changes in our hormonal/menstrual cycle may increase the chances of more than one egg being released at ovulation.  This accounts for the increased rate of fraternal twins (two separate eggs are fertilized resulting in two pregnancies) in older mothers, where the rate of identical twins (one fertilized egg splits to form two pregnancies) is not affected by maternal age.

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Suzanne Hall, MD is a full-time ob/gyn physician in Detroit, Michigan, with a passion for using social media to share news and information in the area of women’s reproductive health.  She is creator and founder of GynoGroupie.com, a fun new blog where ob/gyn  physicians share ‘simple answers to common female health concerns.

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