Do twins really run in families? - Mothering Forums

View Poll Results: Do you have other multiples in your family?
Yes, in recent generations 16 41.03%
Yes, but more than a generation ago 11 28.21%
Not at all 12 30.77%
Voters: 39. You may not vote on this poll

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#1 of 32 Old 10-01-2005, 12:14 AM - Thread Starter
 
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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)
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#2 of 32 Old 10-01-2005, 12:49 AM
 
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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
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#3 of 32 Old 10-01-2005, 01:27 AM
 
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Nope. Not on either side.

Well, dp has a brother & sister who are twins, but they came from IVF.
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#4 of 32 Old 10-01-2005, 01:49 AM
 
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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!
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#5 of 32 Old 10-01-2005, 01:52 AM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by devonc
If you have "spontaneous" twins, do they run in your family?

Not always, sometimes they just walk. :LOL

~Nay

Reneé, 33 year old mom to Antonin 8/04 nocirc.gif and Arianna 9/06 gd.gif angel1.gifangel1.gif (6 weeks) 5/08. Married to Matt since 6/03 blowkiss.gif.  TTC a little rainbow rainbow1284.gifchartnew.gif http://www.FertilityFriend.com/home/4e4ac9 Currently in the 2WW 
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#6 of 32 Old 10-01-2005, 02:33 AM
 
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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.......

CPST
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#7 of 32 Old 10-01-2005, 10:44 AM
 
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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!").

Karen - Mama to Haven (9/00) , Lillie & Faith (MZ - 12/02) and my first homebirthed baby, Willa (3/08)
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#8 of 32 Old 10-01-2005, 02:01 PM - Thread Starter
 
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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!
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#9 of 32 Old 10-01-2005, 02:11 PM
 
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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
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#10 of 32 Old 10-01-2005, 06:23 PM
 
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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.

Blessed mama of four
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#11 of 32 Old 10-01-2005, 06:38 PM
 
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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
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#12 of 32 Old 10-01-2005, 07:21 PM
 
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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.
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#13 of 32 Old 10-01-2005, 08:20 PM
 
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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.
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#14 of 32 Old 10-02-2005, 01:21 AM
 
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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!
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#15 of 32 Old 10-02-2005, 02:36 AM - Thread Starter
 
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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.
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#16 of 32 Old 10-02-2005, 11:40 AM
 
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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.

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#17 of 32 Old 10-03-2005, 01:09 AM
 
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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.
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#18 of 32 Old 10-03-2005, 10:45 AM
 
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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.
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#19 of 32 Old 10-03-2005, 05:43 PM
 
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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!

TripMom . . . . . loving mom : to DS (7) and BBG (4.5)
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#20 of 32 Old 10-03-2005, 09:01 PM
 
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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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#21 of 32 Old 10-03-2005, 09:34 PM
 
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So it seems pretty well accepted that fraternal twins run in families. I've always heard that they "skip a generation". Any thoughts on that while answering the OP (I'm not really intending to hijack, but thought it was pretty closely related)?

My mom was a fraternal twin (her brother was stillborn), and neither she nor her sisters have had twins (six kids between them - I don't know about my aunt's miscarriages, she had many of them before her son was born so maybe there could have been twins? She just quit telling anyone about her pregnancies until she was pretty far along. )

If the "skip a generation" thing is true I'm next in line. I have always felt drawn to this forum...

There are lots of girls in our family too, and only one boy. Both my youngest sister and I have had dreams of twin girls, though neither of us are in the position to be getting pregnant any time soon.
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#22 of 32 Old 10-03-2005, 10:40 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by AmyAngel
So it seems pretty well accepted that fraternal twins run in families. I've always heard that they "skip a generation". Any thoughts on that while answering the OP (I'm not really intending to hijack, but thought it was pretty closely related)?
I have actually wondered what "skip a generation" means... like I said, my gma was a twin, but no one of that gen had twins, or the next (my mom's)... so does it mean that my mom's gen has been skipped entirely, as in, not being twins OR having twins (which would set me up), or does it just mean that twins don't generally have twins themselves? (in which case we're beyond that)

Good question, Amy! I also wanted to tell you I loved your answer on the babysitter post on the other board!!
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#23 of 32 Old 10-03-2005, 11:20 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by devonc
I have actually wondered what "skip a generation" means... like I said, my gma was a twin, but no one of that gen had twins, or the next (my mom's)... so does it mean that my mom's gen has been skipped entirely, as in, not being twins OR having twins (which would set me up), or does it just mean that twins don't generally have twins themselves? (in which case we're beyond that)

Good question, Amy! I also wanted to tell you I loved your answer on the babysitter post on the other board!!
I've always understood the "skip a generation" to mean, Grandma has twins, mom doesn't, I do, my kids don't, their kids do...
But I suppose it doesn't have to be exactly that.

And thanks ! I was a bit reluctant to post the babysitter post, as I don't actually have a child yet, but as a former babysitter/childcare provider hoped it would be helpful.
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#24 of 32 Old 10-04-2005, 02:05 AM - Thread Starter
 
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Bummer. Well, maybe I'll get lucky

I am in the same boat-- no kids but loads of childcare experience... I think it is definitely a great perspective to add!!!
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#25 of 32 Old 10-04-2005, 04:02 AM
 
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fraternal twins in maternal grandparents, and then again another 2 generations back.

I only have one ovary and I got frats - so there. lol
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#26 of 32 Old 10-16-2005, 03:41 AM
 
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My maternal grandmother was a fraternal twin, the older one.

She was born at home in 1905.

She had two girls eight years apart.

My mother was the older one. My mom had nine children, all single births; 2 boys, 7 girls.

My mom's younger sister had nine children also. Her number 5+6 were fraternal twin boys, and one of the the twins died at birth. She had 6 boys and 3 girls.

So, yes, I have twins on my mom's side of the family, and they seem to skip a generation, and alternate sexes. My grandchildren or great nieces and nephews will see twin girls, correct?, if the pattern continues.

"The great enemy of the truth is very often not the lie, deliberate, contrived and dishonest, but the myth, persistent, persuasive and unrealistic."
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#27 of 32 Old 10-16-2005, 10:47 PM
 
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Only one set of twins known in my family and they were the siblings of my paternal grandfather. They were either still born or died in infancy.

In addition to a woman being genetically predisposed to releasing multiple eggs, haven't they started to believe/discover that as women age their bodies begin releasing multiple eggs to help insure that at least one egg gets fertilized and becomes a baby? Anyone else read this? I've heard over thirty and over thirty-five. It makes sense to me. Most of the people I know with twins happen to be in their thirties, me included.

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#28 of 32 Old 10-17-2005, 12:41 AM
 
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Just an FYI on the twins skipping a generation myth. Twins (or the likelyhood of twins) will skip a generation if the twin gene is carried on the paternal line. For example if your father was a twin the "twin gene" would not cause your mother to ovulate 2 eggs so it is likely that your father will not have twins, but his daughters will carry the "twin gene" increasing the odds of having twins, therefore skipping a generation.

Info is from the John Hopkins twins study on generational mz twinning.
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#29 of 32 Old 10-17-2005, 08:19 AM - Thread Starter
 
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Thank you for finally clearing that up for me!! I never understood it.
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#30 of 32 Old 10-23-2005, 01:24 AM
 
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My cousins (7 months older than me) on my maternal side are twins. Well, technically triplets, but Sarah died three months after birth. They were born 3 months premature and were in incubators for about 4-5 months.

My maternal grandmother was also a twin.
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