Want to get pregnant with twins? These tips might do the trick.

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Everyone has a different idea of what an “ideal pregnancy” looks like. Some mummies-to-be might want to take as much time off as possible, so that they can spend their pregnancy days stress-free. Others might want to continue working as per normal, so that they don’t disrupt their schedules. Some might be hoping for a girl, and others might be praying for a boy. Yet others might hope to have twins, so that they don’t need to go through pregnancy twice.

If you’re in the last camp (and you’re hoping to get pregnant with twins!), these tips will be right up your alley. We’ve got our fingers crossed for you!

#1: Eating wild yams

Researchers have noted that rates of twins are higher in populations where people eat more wild yams. More specifically, yams are a staple often consumed by the folks in Southwest Nigeria, and Southwest Nigeria is the place with the highest number of twin births in the world. (We’re talking 50 sets of twins for every 1,000 live births, as opposed to Asia’s 9 sets of twins for every 1,000 births.)

How do yams help to boost fertility? According to researchers, they contain phytoestrogens, which are plant-derived compounds that are linked to enhance the release of more eggs in women. While there isn’t any conclusive evidence that states that eating yams does increase the likelihood of conceiving twins, yams are pretty nutritious, so there’s no harm in incorporating these into your diet.

#2: Taking fertility drugs

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There are several studies (including this 2013 report published in the New England Journal of Medicine) which discuss how using fertility drugs increases a woman’s likelihood of getting pregnant with twins and triplets. Because fertility drugs such as Clomid, Femera, Gonal-F and Follistim stimulates a woman’s ovaries, and encourages them to produce eggs, this sometimes leads to a woman getting pregnant with fraternal twins (where two different eggs are fertilized by different sperm).

#3: Undergoing In Vitro Fertilisation

Closely tied to the idea of fertility drugs is In Vitro Fertilisation, also known as IVF. While some women may consume fertility drugs without going on to do IVF, the vast majority of IVF patients do consume, or inject themselves with, fertility drugs as a precursor.

Here’s a crash course on how IVF works: after women consume or inject themselves with fertility drugs, their eggs are extracted, fertilised with their partner’s sperm, and left to develop. The ob-gyn then assesses the embryos that develop, and chooses one or two embryos to transfer to the woman’s uterus.

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If only one embryo is transferred to the woman’s uterus, the likelihood of conceiving twins is lower (while the woman could still conceive identical twins, she wouldn’t be able to conceive fraternal twins). If two embryos are transferred, there is a possibility of both of these embryos implanting, and turning into healthy foetuses. This means the woman could give birth to either identical and fraternal twins.

#4: Delaying getting pregnant

You probably already know that the older you are, the more difficult it is to get pregnant. But in a strange twist of fate, it turns out that older women are also more likely to get pregnant with twins.

How does it work? Just before women enter perimenopause (aka the transition to menopause), their ovaries release a flood of oestrogen in their bodies. At this point in time, some women may also start to release more than one egg each month. This increases the chances of said women conceiving fraternal twins.

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