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Do twins really run in families?

Poll Results: Do you have other multiples in your family?

 
  • 41% (16)
    Yes, in recent generations
  • 28% (11)
    Yes, but more than a generation ago
  • 30% (12)
    Not at all
39 Total Votes  
post #1 of 32
Thread Starter 
Hi!

I am just poking around various boards here and I have always been intrigued by multiples. My grandmother was a twin, and so were her cousins (born within a month of each other AT HOME!), but no one in her or my mother's generation had twins.

If you have "spontaneous" twins, do they run in your family? (ie, what are my odds of makin' 2 babies at once? :LOL)
post #2 of 32
In my husband's family- yeah. His mom (my mil) is one of 8 girls. The last 4 are two sets of identical twins (her mom also had a set of male twins stillborn) So, my mil is a twin and she had twins (identical- my dh and his twin) One of the other set (my dh's aunt) also had identical twin boys.

Then just for kicks- my dh's twin now has fraternal twins.... probably a fluke, given that all others are identical, but who knows.

None for us yet though...

-Angela
post #3 of 32
Nope. Not on either side.

Well, dp has a brother & sister who are twins, but they came from IVF.
post #4 of 32
My paternal grandma had 8 siblings, including 2 sets of twins. The children of 3 of the twins had twins as well. All of the sets were fraternal.

And this is amazing- one of my dad's former co-workers had 3 sets of identical twins, all girls, each set 1-1.5 years apart. So 6 daughters! When they were in high school, they had 6 proms to pay for at once, and once they make it to college, there will be at least a year where all 6 will be in college at once. The doctors told them the odds of having 3 sets of identical twins without any fertility intervention was astronomical!
post #5 of 32
Quote:
Originally Posted by devonc
If you have "spontaneous" twins, do they run in your family?

Not always, sometimes they just walk. :LOL

~Nay
post #6 of 32
I'm sure you could find out the exact odds if you cared to google it...lol....but ere is what i know....

scientifically, i believe that fraternal twins do run on the woman's side of the family...because fraternal twins occurs when a woman ovulates 2 eggs at once, and apparently the tendency to do this does in fact run in families......but it would have to be from the woman's mothers side..IE, your mother, or grandmother, or great grand mother...etc, would have to be that way....twins in a mans side of the family means nothing, statistically....so...have any of the women in your family had fraternal twins?
If so, you might be at statistically higher risk than the general population.......
post #7 of 32
There is only one set of twins that we know of in my family. My great-great-grandmother had dizygotic (fraternal) twins (boy/girl). Since then I am the first and my girls are monozygotic (identical).

Dizygotic twins sometimes are genetic. But even if you dh has hundreds of dz twins in his family it will not have any bearing on you having them. I'm not sure if your dh could pass that gene on to his future dd's or not (i.e. your girls having dz twins). Some people do not think that mz twins are genetic however there are some experts that believe that they are. It is possible that if mz twins are genetic that your dh could carry that gene...but I would think he'd have to have a lot of mz twins in his family tree to make that a strong possibility. I was bf'ing my oldest dd when I became pg with my mz girls. I did read somewhere that they think there may be a link between nursing when you get pg and conceiving mz twins. Something to do with less calcium in the outer "shell" of the egg and it being able to split easier.

Ralphie76 - How cool to have 3 sets of mz twins!! I'm sure the chances for that happening are crazy. However...even fertility meds do not produce mz twins. The egg has to split on it's own and why that happens is still a mystery to science (re: "The doctors told them the odds of having 3 sets of identical twins without any fertility intervention was astronomical!").
post #8 of 32
Thread Starter 
Well, the twins in my family are right down the maternal line (mom's mom's mom and her sister both had twins). They're not sure if my gma and her sis are mz or dz because I guess they couldn't tell in those days, but they looked EXACTLY alike growing up so it's definitely possible they're mz.

ralphie76 -- 3 sets in one family!! Dang!! That sounds like a concept for a sitcom, except no one would believe it!
post #9 of 32
Quote:
Originally Posted by devonc
Hi!

(ie, what are my odds of makin' 2 babies at once? :LOL)
Depend on if the twins that are in your family are fraternal. Only fraternal twins are inherated. Identical twins do not run in families.

My brothers wife is an identical twin. No matter how many times I tell her she still thinks she has a huge chance of having twins. She has a chance but just as much of a chance as I do
post #10 of 32
Quote:
The doctors told them the odds of having 3 sets of identical twins without any fertility intervention was astronomical!
How would fertility treatments increase the odds of identicals? Fraternals I can see, but since indenticals are from one sperm and one egg, how would fertility treatments increase the chances?

My great-grandmother had fraternal boys that were stillborn, but other than that, no twins in my family. But I have a "feeling" my twins are identical, which from what I understand are not hereditary.
post #11 of 32
Quote:
Originally Posted by candipooh
Identical twins do not run in families.
They have claimed that in the past, some experts now think they may be genetic after all. If they're not my dh and his family really need to play the lottery more often...

-Angela
post #12 of 32
Quote:
Originally Posted by candipooh
Depend on if the twins that are in your family are fraternal. Only fraternal twins are inherated. Identical twins do not run in families.

My brothers wife is an identical twin. No matter how many times I tell her she still thinks she has a huge chance of having twins. She has a chance but just as much of a chance as I do

it is genetics that make a woman release two eggs instead of one.
post #13 of 32
I'm not clear why this is a poll. It's really not a matter of speculation. It has been scientifically known for a loooooong time that dizygotic twins run in families, passed down from woman to woman of course (the genetic tendency to produce more than one egg per ovulation as mentioned above).

Recent research also seems to confirm what families with many sets of identicals have claimed for generations: that monozygotic twins also run in families, though clearly in a different way than monozygotic twins.

IVF increases the chance for multiples in a given pregnancy due to the transfer of more than one embryo into the uterus (and I have also heard that monozygotic twins are more common in IVF as well, don't know why or if reasons have been studied). IVF multiples don't mean the family has a future increased chance of multiples in a later generation, they are a function of the IVF process.
post #14 of 32
Thanks to all who cleared it up re: monozygotic twins not being influenced by fertility meds- it wasn't my comment and was probably not even the original comment by the dr's- you know how things get distorted when stories get passed on! I'm just passing on the third-hand story (dr-twins dad-my dad-me)! :LOL

But I'm glad to know that about fertility drugs only causing dyzygotic- I learn something new every time I come here!
post #15 of 32
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by AmyY
I'm not clear why this is a poll. It's really not a matter of speculation. It has been scientifically known for a loooooong time that dizygotic twins run in families, passed down from woman to woman of course (the genetic tendency to produce more than one egg per ovulation as mentioned above).
Because I have a Psych/Bio degree and I always question statistics I was just curious how strong the connection was... ie, whether two sets of twins several generations ago count as a family connection, or if it had to be more recent. Just doing my own informal research!

As for the MZ question, it seems possible that there's a genetic connection-- whatever it is that makes the embryo split (someone mentioned calcium?) could be passed down, but tha's just me musing on it.

Also, my friend's SIL jut had two embryos implanted via IVF, and one split... she delivered her triplets today! So either it was a total fluke or the fertility does have some effect.
post #16 of 32
I once added it up, and in the past 3 generations (not counting mine, since we're still actively having kids), the identical twin birth rate is 1 in 30 births, roughly three times as frequently as in the general population.

My mom's side is studded with fraternal twins, her paternal grandmother had 3 sets of twins (All but 1 of those 6 children died long before I was born as my grandfather was the next-to-the youngest of 13 kids.), don't know if they were mono-or di-zygotic.

Anyway, my mom's first cousin had identicals, and so did my mom. So far none have struck in our generation, but we're all very much still of childbearing age. I got an ultrasound only because in the back of my mind I wasn't convinced there was only one baby in there until I saw it on screen...and I'll probably feel that way with every pregnancy I have.
post #17 of 32
We have so many twins in our family it is crazy. We only have two living sets right now but we have had so many pregnancies with them not just in this generation but going back as far as we can tell from our family tree (going back to 1760). For us it is a family thing, even my adopted sister carried twins, she lost them at 4 months but they still count! I myself have had two sets of twins one set of girls and one set of boys, my boys were s/b at 20 wks.
post #18 of 32
Yep...in my family they do. My twins are the 32nd recorded pair of twins on my mom's side of the family. And that is only the recorded ones...there is speculation that there were more that were never documented. So it has been going on for generations in my family. My twins are the first documented pair of boy/girl twins though.
post #19 of 32
Of my triplets - my boys were MZ and are identical - and my girl is obviously the fraternal portion of my trio.

I was not on any sort of fertility treatments

There are no twins, triplets - no multiples period in my family!
post #20 of 32
I have fraternal twins which may be genetic, but my sister has identical which is entirely coincidental.
IN addition, my paternal grandfather was a twin, my paternal aunt was pg with twins but lost them and my maternal grandmother had sisters who were fraternal twins.
I think it comes from the mom's family but I do think it can come from either maternal or paternal sides (or even both) because even my dad gave me one of my x chromosomes (even though he never got around to using his LOL)
(but still that wouldnt explain any relation with his father being a twin because he only gave my dad a Y, hmmm)

joline
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