- 15March 2017
Did you know that 1 in 80 births in Australia are twins?
And that 95% of multiple births are twins?
Do you know what factors can increase your chances of having twins?
Your age: yes that’s right the later you wait to have children the more likely you are to fall pregnant with twins. As you age, you naturally produce more ovulation-stimulating hormones, which could trigger your ovaries to release several eggs each month.
Your height: Larger, taller women are 25 to 30 percent more likely to have twins.
Heredity is an important factor, too. Non-identical twins tend to run in families, usually on the mother’s side, but not always. If twins run in your mother’s family, you’re more likely to have a set yourself. Identical twins do not tend to run in families.
What is the difference between identical and fraternal twins?
Identical twins occur where one egg spits into 2. Identical twins can look quite different from each other. Some identical twins may be “mirror twins” eg:, their hair parts on opposite sides, they are oppositely handed, or they have birthmarks on opposite sides of their body. In some rare cases, their internal organs can be mirror images of each other. It’s not known why some twins are like this.
Fraternal twins occur where two separate eggs are fertilised. Fraternal twins can be the same or opposite sex and can look quite different from each other. Fraternal twins happen in around 1 in 40 pregnancies in Australia.
One third of twins are identical (and 2 thirds are fraternal)
Acknowledgements This article was developed in collaboration with Associate Professor Jeffrey Craig, Group Leader, Murdoch Childrens Research Institute, Honorary Principal Research Fellow, University of Melbourne and Deputy Director, Australian Twin Registry; and Associate Professor Mark P. Umstad, Director of Maternity Services, Royal Women’s Hospital, Melbourne.
Meet our very own hey dee ho twin expert – Lee
Are you an identical twin? Yes, with my sister Paula.
Are you and Paula mirror twins? Although it has not been confirmed officially one of us is right handed and the other left handed and some other distinguishing features are also mirrored so yes, I believe so.
What is the best thing about being a twin? Even though I have some lovely close friends, having a twin sister means you always have a very best friend who knows you better than anyone else.
Anything you don’t like about being a twin? Being compared to each other – how you look etc. It is nice to be treated as an individual on your own merit.
Any pet hates? Being called “twinies”
How did you feel the day you learned you were having twins? I was in absolute shock – I felt like my brain had short circuited – I just couldn’t believe it. Even though I guess we knew there was a possibility we may be having twins it was such lot to take in
How did your husband handle the news? He was pretty calm really – he just smiled.