Couples Everywhere Are Having More Twins

FRIDAY March 12, 2021 (HealthDay News) – Yes, you are really seeing double – more twins are being born now than ever before.

There are a number of reasons why, according to a new study.

Since the 1980s, twin births have increased by a third worldwide – from 9 to 12 per 1,000 deliveries. About 1.6 million twins are born each year, and one in 42 babies is a twin.

A big reason for all of these twins is an increase in assisted reproduction, including in vitro fertilization, ovarian stimulation, and artificial insemination.

Another reason is that women in many countries are having babies at an older age. Chances of having twins increase with age, study published March 12 in the journal Human reproduction.

“The absolute number of twin deliveries has increased everywhere except South America,” said study author Christiaan Monden, professor of sociology and demography at the University of Oxford in England. “In North America and Africa, the numbers have increased by over 80%, and in Africa, this increase is almost entirely caused by population growth.”

For the study, the researchers analyzed 2010-2015 data from 165 countries with 99% of the world’s population. They also looked at 1980-1985 data for 112 countries.

They found a substantial increase in matches in many European countries, North America and Asia.

In 74% of the 112 countries with data for both periods, the increase exceeded 10%. Asia saw an increase of 32% and North America an increase of 71%. Only seven countries recorded a decline of more than 10%.

“In both periods, Africa had the highest match rates and there was no significant increase over time. However, Europe, North America and the oceanic countries are quickly catching up. About 80% of all twin shipments worldwide now take place in Asia Africa, ”Monden said in a press release.

He noted that the pairing rate is so high due to the high number of twins born from two separate eggs. There has been little change in the rate of twins born from the same egg – which stands at around 4 per 1,000 deliveries worldwide.

The authors believe match rates may have peaked – especially in Europe and North America – due to the growing emphasis on assisted reproduction in attempting to achieve single pregnancies.

It is not clear whether this is also the case in low-income countries and has important implications for the health of mothers and babies, as well as for health care resources, the researchers say.

More information

The American Academy of Pediatrics has more on having twins.

SOURCE: Human reproduction, press release, March 11, 2021

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