Saturday, March 19, 2011

Twin Things: Do twins run in your family?

Every few weeks I hope to discuss frequently asked questions about twins.  Because, remember, I'm an expert on everything now.  And I feel like the general public is misinformed...or not informed at all...about twin things.
Q: "Do twins run in your family?"
A:  Well, simple answer...yes.  But, if you REALLY, I mean REALLY think about it...they run in yours too.  In order to have twins you have to have two fertilized eggs (fraternal) or one fertilized egg that splits (identical).  Are certain people more likely to have either of these happen?  Maybe.  I'm not really sure.  I kinda think that, anatomically speaking, every woman is as likely to have twins as the next.  And for twins to happen lots of things have to happen all at one time and I don't think one family is more capable of making those things happen over another.  And all of the old wive's tales are not true in our family.  We have twins on all sides, in every generation, in every birth order.  But, back to the simple answer because I'm all about things that are simple.

Here is our family tree.  I didn't specify whether a set of twins was spontaneous or happened because of fertility or IVF out of respect of privacy for those family members.  But here are the stats:

9 total sets of twins (incl. ours)
1 set by egg donor/IVF
1 set IVF
1 set other fertility treatments
1 set identical
all others spontaneous and fraternal

I've never researched farther back than our grandparents.  There may actually be more.  I do notice that twins have become more 4 sets in one generation.  But that probably has to do with the addition of other families and fertility treatments.  And there seems to be more on my side.  But that probably has to do with me not knowing some of his side very well.


  1. There are no twins in our family tree! You have a lot!

  2. Really? None? Maybe we are some super freaky twin producing family. Hmmm.

  3. I don't know of any twins in my family tree either!

  4. Kim, I think you do have a super freaky twin producing family! Only one set in my husband's family from fertility treatments. Otherwise none on either side back to great-great grandparents. And his grandmother had 10 kids.

  5. Maybe I just thought it was normal since I grew up with twins and married someone that did. Now I really want to research our families.