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How do twins run in families?

post #1 of 8
Thread Starter 
I am under the assumption that only fraternal twins 'run' in families, through the paternal lines. Is this correct? I have an unusually large amount of identical twins in my family (my dad is an id twin, as is my maternal grandmother, and 2 sets of cousins on my mothers side)

We plan on trying for #3 soon and would like it to be the last baby!
post #2 of 8
It runs in the maternal side, not the paternal. I have fraternal uncles on my maternal side. There are studies being done now that say ID twinning could be from the father's genes. Which would make sense in our case. My dh has 5 sets of ID twins in 4 generations on both his mother's maternal and parternal side and also on his father's maternal side. I truly believe that we got our ID girls do to his side.
post #3 of 8
Yes, they run on the mother's side not the father's side.

The only things that seem to have any correlation for identicals are conceiving after a miscarriage, conceiving while breastfeeding and using fertility treatments (slight increase in MZ twins). There are some theories about MZ running on the fathers side but nothing is proven yet. I have twins on my dads side (DZ) and my dh has MZ on his side and we have MZ.
post #4 of 8
One thing to clarify about the "twins run on the mother's, not the father's side" thing: by that, they mean the mother of the possible twins (as opposed to the father of the possible twins). So, for the potentially-pregnant woman in question, both *her* mother and father's side are contributors to chances of fraternal twins. Basically, the main thing that runs in families is a propensity to have multiple eggs ovulate in a single cycle/month.

With identical twins, the conventional wisdom is that these are one-off flukes and that the trait is not passed down. However, some people do think there may be a slight genetic component (in either the mother's eggs or the father's sperm, or both) that adds to the possibility of the embryos splitting (and hence having identical twins). The evidence for this is still out, though, (beyond the anecdotal level) and if it is the case, it is less of a possibility than with passing along fraternal-- but who knows!

(And of course this whole conversation assumes no fertility treatments, which are a whole different story! Though I am constantly amused by the number of people-- who know for a fact that I had many, many rounds of fertility treatments of various sorts-- who ask me if twins run in my family, when they find out I'm expecting two)
post #5 of 8
There is research that shows ID twinning has a genetic component in some cases.

Dh's family- his mom is one of 8 girls, the last 4 are 2 sets of ID twins. His mom is one of those. She had ID twins (dh and his brother). One of the OTHER set of twins, had ID twins. His grandmother also m/c a set of ID twin boys (which would give her 3 sets total).

Just to further amuse- dh's twin brother had frat. twins.

post #6 of 8
Well, in my experience, first they start by crawling. Then they cruise. Then they walk. Then they RUN!

post #7 of 8
Thread Starter 
Originally Posted by doomayula View Post
well, in my experience, first they start by crawling. Then they cruise. Then they walk. Then they run!

post #8 of 8
My Mom's side has three sets of girl twins. My Dad's side has two sets of boy twins. I had boy girl twins. My cousin was pregnant with twins, but lost one early one. She had a boy and I have a feeling the other was a boy because she is on my Dad's side. I could be wrong about that. Noone in either sie used fertility treatments.
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