Since the early 70s, twin births have increased and what was once rare, the multiple births are since increased more than 200 percent in the last three decades. Twin births occur once in every 35 births with significant increases to triplets and more.
One reason for this leap in multiple births has been associated with fertility treatments and fertility drugs. Medical intervention is considered the reason for multiple births that result in quadruplets and more. According to the Center for Disease Control, 43% of the births associated with fertility treatments resulted in multiples.
Still, are fertility drugs the only reason for the increase in twin births? Not exactly. The National Center for Health Statistics offered these interesting insights:
- Twin deliveries are 25% higher in the states of Connecticut and Massachusetts than they are in other states
- Triplet deliveries are twice the national average in New Jersey and Nebraska
- Prefer a more tropical location? Hawaii has 30% less multiple rate than the rest of the country
- Fraternal twins are more likely to be conceived in the month of July and January boasts the fewest number of twin conceptions
Interestingly enough, scientists are not positive on why the last is so, but they speculate that it may be related to higher Follicle Stimulating Hormones in women associated with longer daylight hours in the month of July.
But again, that’s only speculation. Multiple births are more supported by modern medicine and healthy nutrition. But the National Center for Health Statistics also notes that there is a tribe called the Yoruba in Nigeria that has the highest incidence of twinning in the entire world. The people of Nigeria associate it with eating a type of yam that actually contains a substance that is very similar to estrogen and may actually encourage multiple ovulations.
There is one last factor, the older the mother is – the more likely she is to have a multiple birth because the odds increase to 1 in 27 rather than 1 in 35. It’s really rather amazing, so it sounds like if you eat yams, live in Massachusetts and are over 35 – you increase your opportunity to have twins quite a bit – though this is only speculation.