It may seem like everywhere you turn you’re seeing double. Today.com (and the rest of the world) noticed Beyoncé and Amal Clooney’s recent pregnancy announcements—both are expecting twins—and since then everyone has been wondering the same thing: are twins more common?
The answer is no. The rate of twin births has actually been declining. The Center for Disease Control reported the U.S. twin birth rate in 2014 to be 33.9 per 1000 live births. In 2015 the twin birth rate dropped to 33.5 per 1000 live births.
What we do know is that there is an increase in women in their 30s and 40s who are conceiving. Women in their 30s and 40s are also more likely to naturally conceive twins than women who become pregnant in their 20s.
As women age, there is a natural increase in the production of follicle stimulating hormone which can result in the release of more than one egg each reproductive cycle, which in turn increases the chances of having twins.
If people are wondering if an apparent increase in recent twin pregnancies is solely due to fertility treatments and IVF, Joseph Karnitis, reproductive endocrinologist from Kettering Reproductive Medicine, can confidently say no.
“Multiple births as a result of fertility treatments and IVF have actually decreased in the past 10 years,” says Dr. Karnitis. “As technologies have advanced, couples using reproductive assistive technologies are more likely than ever before to conceive just one baby during a treatment cycle.”
To find out more about Kettering Reproductive Medicine or to schedule a fertility evaluation, visit ketteringhealth.org/fertility