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Twins/Hyperovulation/Genetics?

paris29

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May 27, 2010
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So I have been wondering for a while now if twins do indeed "run in the family." Is it mostly genetics or chance? If it is genetics which side does it come from mom or dad? I heard that one genetic factor is hyperovulation. Can someone tell me how I would know if I have hyperovulation.
 

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Hera

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You would know if you hyper ovulation in the family because you would have fraternal (not identical) twins somewhere on your mother's side.
 

paris29

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OK thank you. I'm going to have to check with my mom about family history of twins on her side.
 

cara

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Hyperovulation could also be from women's father's side. Women have XX sex chromosomes - they get an X from their mom and an X from their dad. So a *woman* can get sex-specific genetic characteristics from either her father's side or her mother's side.

What doesn't matter is if Suzy and Bob are making babies, and Bob has twins on his side :). Suzy is in charge of making eggs, and the Bob's genetics don't affect whether or not Suzy releases one egg or two in a given month. Bob should make millions of sperm a go, number control of babies conceived does not come from the male side of baby-making.

And only fraternal twins are hereditary. Identical twins are thought to be random, non-inherited.
 

hawaiianorangetree

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Monozygotic (one egg one sperm that makes two identical babies) twins are by the 'chance' factor.
Dizygotic (2 egg and 2 sperm that make 2 fraternal babies) twins are where the genetics comes into it on the mothers side of the family (due to hyperovulation where you release more than one egg at a time).

I work on a twin study and it is quite interesting to see just how many families have twins that run in the extended family. Some of the families even have 2 sets of fraternal twins! :errrr:

But having said that there was a family at the school i used to work at and they had identical twin boys who were 4, a singleton boy who was about 3 and identical twin girls who were under a year old. Crazy!! Actually, there were two families at that school who had 2 sets of twins! I wonder if there was something in the water... :cheeky:
 

Hera

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cara said:
Hyperovulation could also be from women's father's side. Women have XX sex chromosomes - they get an X from their mom and an X from their dad. So a *woman* can get sex-specific genetic characteristics from either her father's side or her mother's side.

What doesn't matter is if Suzy and Bob are making babies, and Bob has twins on his side :). Suzy is in charge of making eggs, and the Bob's genetics don't affect whether or not Suzy releases one egg or two in a given month. Bob should make millions of sperm a go, number control of babies conceived does not come from the male side of baby-making.

And only fraternal twins are hereditary. Identical twins are thought to be random, non-inherited.
haha! You're right! Both sides of the family! I make a terrible fraternal twin! I think it means that my twin brother carries this trait and can pass it down the line to his offspring.
 

paris29

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Are there any personal signs I could look for during my ovulation to see if I have hyperovulation or should I just look at family history of twins on my side.
 

cara

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Paris, the only thing I can thing of is that some women get Mittelschmerz or ovulation pain. If you happen to feel o-pain twice during one month, maybe that would be a sign. But I think trying to feel or not feel that is a good way to go a little loopy :cheeky: Why the strong interest? Do you want twins? Even if you have a tendency toward hyperovulation, that's no guarantee that it will happen on any given month, or that both eggs will get properly fertilized and implant and become viable embryos. There are a lot of variables in the reproduction process!

Also, seems like maternal age and ethnicity also affect the rates of fraternal twinning - older mothers are more likely to have twins, and certain ethnic groups are more or less likely. Wikipedia has a pretty good twin article if you are interested.
 

Hest88

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This is a fascinating thread because twins run on my dad's side of the family and on my sister's husband's side, which made me wonder if my sister would be more likely to have twins. From this conversation, it sounds like her odds are still no better than the general population's.
hawaiianorangetree said:
But having said that there was a family at the school i used to work at and they had identical twin boys who were 4, a singleton boy who was about 3 and identical twin girls who were under a year old. Crazy!! Actually, there were two families at that school who had 2 sets of twins! I wonder if there was something in the water... :cheeky:
I think twins are becoming more common because of in-vitro . It's like all those celebrity twins. I live in an area with lots of women waiting until their 40s to have kids, and so many are popping out twins that it's pretty obvious most are not naturally conceived.
 

Pandora II

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If you are tall or an older mother your chances are increased.

A woman who goes to one of Daisy's playgroups had two children (youngest is 2 1/2) and then got KU accidently. They weren't too thrilled but decided that well, one extra wouldn't hurt...

I got to cuddle one of her 7 week old non-identical all-girl TRIPLETS last week! They were born at 33 weeks, each over 4lbs... poor girl did look like she needed to be rolled everywhere by the third trimester.

The odds of having naturally conceived, non identical triplets all of one gender is about the same as winning the lottery I believe!
 

Blenheim

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Pandora, why does height matter? Just curious, as a fellow tall woman... :))

My DH has several fraternal twins on his side of the family (including his dad). While it fortunately will not have any affect on my ovulation, SIL is convinced that she is going to have twins one day as a result.
 

phoenixgirl

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MIL told me, "You should know twins do run in my family" about a dozen times before I shut her up with the truth about hyperovulation being the only genetic predictor for twins. :roll:
 

pennquaker09

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In-vitro . . . Nate wants to do it again, but I just don't know if I can handle it. I love kids, but the chance of multiples is just crazy. I don't know if I can handle more than one infant at the same time again. Maybe in 5 years.
 

Pandora II

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Blenheim said:
Pandora, why does height matter? Just curious, as a fellow tall woman... :))

My DH has several fraternal twins on his side of the family (including his dad). While it fortunately will not have any affect on my ovulation, SIL is convinced that she is going to have twins one day as a result.
Not sure, I just found it mentioned quite often when I was researching chances of multiples - I have fraternal twins on my mother's side (my grandmother's siblings) so there was the genetic possibility.
 

janinegirly

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One thing I have been fascinated by is the high occurence of twins on this site (ie by members of this site)--and often without the genetic traits, fertility treatment that one would expect. Anyone have a theory on that?
 

Haven

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SO . . . if my grandmother was a fraternal twin, AND she (tragically) lost a pregnancy of her own that was a set of fraternal twins, and if I have fraternal twin first cousins (on that same side) AND my grandmother had an aunt and uncle who were also fraternal twins--does that mean they may run in our family?

What if my dad also has fraternal twin aunts (his mother's sisters) and first cousins of his own who are fraternal twins?

AND what if I'm tall (5'10") and I'm going to be older (at least 32) when I have kids? And DH will be at least 42.

Is this seriously something that can run in the family? Everyone always jokes around about that to me, but I thought they were FULL OF IT!

Is it strange to have that many fraternal twins in one family? I thought I just came from people who have lots of kids.

There are also a couple sets of identical twins in the family, but they seem so common in general nowadays.

ETA: I'M NOT JOKING! THIS THREAD IS FREAKING ME OUT! My mom and uncle always tell me that we're going to have twins, and I just laugh it off because someone once told me that they don't run in the family. That was after I told him about all the twins in my family and he sort of laughed at me and said they don't run in families. I think I believed him because having twins scares the heck out of me. My cousins are four-year-old hellions!

Okay, sorry for my outburst. DH and I have been talking about kids lately and we had a good laugh about how we couldn't handle any of the twins in my family. Ha. Ha. Joke may ultimately be on us, right?
 

hawaiianorangetree

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Haven said:
SO . . . if my grandmother was a fraternal twin, AND she (tragically) lost a pregnancy of her own that was a set of fraternal twins, and if I have fraternal twin first cousins (on that same side) AND my grandmother had an aunt and uncle who were also fraternal twins--does that mean they may run in our family?

What if my dad also has fraternal twin aunts (his mother's sisters) and first cousins of his own who are fraternal twins?

AND what if I'm tall (5'10") and I'm going to be older (at least 32) when I have kids? And DH will be at least 42.

Is this seriously something that can run in the family? Everyone always jokes around about that to me, but I thought they were FULL OF IT!

Is it strange to have that many fraternal twins in one family? I thought I just came from people who have lots of kids.

There are also a couple sets of identical twins in the family, but they seem so common in general nowadays.

ETA: I'M NOT JOKING! THIS THREAD IS FREAKING ME OUT! My mom and uncle always tell me that we're going to have twins, and I just laugh it off because someone once told me that they don't run in the family. That was after I told him about all the twins in my family and he sort of laughed at me and said they don't run in families. I think I believed him because having twins scares the heck out of me. My cousins are four-year-old hellions!

Okay, sorry for my outburst. DH and I have been talking about kids lately and we had a good laugh about how we couldn't handle any of the twins in my family. Ha. Ha. Joke may ultimately be on us, right?
Oh Haven please don't freak out!

There are many factors that contribute to fraternal twins (identical is by chance as there is no way knowing if a fertilized egg is going to split in two).

This page gives a pretty good summary...

http://multiples.about.com/od/funfacts/ ... etwins.htm

Also, if you click on "More:All in the family" under "1. Have a history" that also goes in to more depth about family connections and twins.

I believe the biggest proven factor of twins is Hyperovulation, it might be something that you can discuss with your doctor to see if you have?

"Old" mothers with a high incidence of twins are over the age of 45 so you don't have to worry there, :)) and your hubbys family will bare no influence on you guys having twins either.

ETA: Edited because my spelling has got the better of me today :))
 

jas

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Haven, freak thyself out not.

The wiki articles do help a lot.

I had some serious implantation drop and then a serious rise in temps when I made my twins.

However, the thought of another set is making me cross my legs together. And clench.

There *are* a lot of twins here on this site. Mine were due to my being freaking Methusela when we conceived. It had nothing to do with the fact that my MIL also gave birth to (identical) twins. I don't care how much she tries to convince me otherwise. :rodent:
 

Haven

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Thank you for the info ladies, and for humoring my very rude outburst.

Prior to reading this thread, DH and I had just been talking about children, and about how we don't know how we'd handle twins if we did have them. Of course, that was after spending time with my out of control fraternal twin cousins. (But boy are they adorable!) They are wild, though, and I've endured more rude stares out in public with them than I can handle.

Anyway, I'm sorry for popping in here and freaking out. I'm going to go read those links.
 

Puppmom

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Uh-oh Haven - sounds like twins are in your future!

My childhood best friend was one of 7 children. She was the ONLY singleton! Her mother had three sets of fraternal (boy/girl) twins before her. From what I understand, it was without fertility treatment.
 

Haven

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puppmom said:
Uh-oh Haven - sounds like twins are in your future!

My childhood best friend was one of 7 children. She was the ONLY singleton! Her mother had three sets of fraternal (boy/girl) twins before her. From what I understand, it was without fertility treatment.
:errrr: :-o
That's crazy! I know a couple families with two sets of twins, but THREE! Holy smokes.
 

neatfreak

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Haven don't freak out! Even if all of those factors increase your chances (which they do) your chance of having twins is still very small! Albeit higher than someone short, younger, with no family history. And look at me--I fit the second category and I had spontaneous twins anyway. :cheeky:

Guess my point is that you just never know! Odds are just odds and they work in weird ways.

As to whoever asked about the tall/older thing the prevailing theories that I have heard are:

Tall: Genes are smart and if you are a taller woman you have a bigger uterus, more abdominal space, etc. and therefore are more likely to have enough room to carry twins to successfully to term.

Older: Your body basically freaks out, realizes it is running out of time, and starts dropping eggs like mad hoping one will be fertilized. More eggs=higher chance of fraternal twins.

I did a lot of research when I was freaking out after finding out I was having twins!
 

paris29

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cara said:
Paris, the only thing I can thing of is that some women get Mittelschmerz or ovulation pain. If you happen to feel o-pain twice during one month, maybe that would be a sign. But I think trying to feel or not feel that is a good way to go a little loopy :cheeky: Why the strong interest? Do you want twins? Even if you have a tendency toward hyperovulation, that's no guarantee that it will happen on any given month, or that both eggs will get properly fertilized and implant and become viable embryos. There are a lot of variables in the reproduction process!

Also, seems like maternal age and ethnicity also affect the rates of fraternal twinning - older mothers are more likely to have twins, and certain ethnic groups are more or less likely. Wikipedia has a pretty good twin article if you are interested.
I do want twins, that is not say that I won't be happy with just one at a time, because I will. I just always imagined myself having twins since I was really young. I do get severe ovulation pain. I just always wondered what my chances were and what factors influenced those chances. I'm still young young so the older age won't affect me but I'll have to look up the ethnicity factor. Do you know which ethnicities have a higher chance of having twins? If all goes well FF and I will be doing everything all natural.
 

Hera

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African American women have a higher percentage of having twins and I think Asian women have the lowest odds.
 

blushingbride

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DH and I both have fraternal twins whichrun in our families...and I'm currently 7 months pregnant with fraternal twins (boy/girl)! I also am 32 (and 5'8") so, it could be hereditary or age related or both! Keep in mind, I was pregnant last summer with one, but had a miscarriage.

BTW-I didn't feel extra pain in January (the month I ovulated) and became pregnant.
 

blushingbride

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Haven said:
Thank you for the info ladies, and for humoring my very rude outburst.

Prior to reading this thread, DH and I had just been talking about children, and about how we don't know how we'd handle twins if we did have them. Of course, that was after spending time with my out of control fraternal twin cousins. (But boy are they adorable!) They are wild, though, and I've endured more rude stares out in public with them than I can handle.

Anyway, I'm sorry for popping in here and freaking out. I'm going to go read those links.
Haven - seeing out of control, bad behaving twins would scare anyone, but that's just THEIR personalities. Doesn't mean your kids (if you had twins) would be that way. We are friends with a couple who have two twin boys and they are so calm and respectable - it's really sweet to watch them play and interact.
 

Laila619

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Neatfreak, your boys are frat twins, right? So you ovulated twice in one month?

I know Mandarine's are identical. With ID twins, you only ovulate once but the fertilized egg splits, correct?

All this is so interesting. I've read that generally, ovulating twice in a month is a fluke thing and usually it only happens with "older" moms.
 

janinegirly

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I think twins as #1 is a shock at first, but seems somehow manageable. What makes me freak out is the thought of twins as #2 when you already have one LO! Makes me delay decision on #2 even more since I'm "older". I know it is so unlikely but look how often it happened here. My co-worker thought he'd have 2 kids..had one, then twins and then an ooops...so a total of 4!
 

neatfreak

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Laila619 said:
Neatfreak, your boys are frat twins, right? So you ovulated twice in one month?

I know Mandarine's are identical. With ID twins, you only ovulate once but the fertilized egg splits, correct?

All this is so interesting. I've read that generally, ovulating twice in a month is a fluke thing and usually it only happens with "older" moms.
Yes, mine are frats and Mandarines are ID. ID twins do mean that the egg splits.

And ovulating twice in one month isn't a fluke thing that only happens to older moms. I am in my mid-20's! It's just more likely to happen to older moms but it can happen to anyone.

Paris I don't want to be mean, but if I were you I would start thinking about having only one baby. Even if you have a genetic predisposition to have twins it still is very unlikely. It's not something you can predict or change.
 

partgypsy

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As far as increased risk, you are more likely to have twins if you are older, and not your first child. So, increase in twins is occuring because we have older mothers.

Supposedly twins run in my family, but on my grandfather, or great grandfather's side (can't remember which). He married a woman, had a set of twins with her. Wife died. He remarried, had another set of twins with his second wife! Don't know if they were identical or fraternal. I'm a twin (most probably identical). So it seems like maybe there can be something genetic that's not hyperovulation?

We wondered if we would have twins because my husband's grandmother is also a twin (fraternal). I wouldn't have minded with the first pregnancy, but with the second that it was quite a relief, that there was only one in there!

Another thing to remember some estimates are that as many as 1/3? of pregnancies start as multiple, but end up as single births.
 
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