Do twins run in your family?

Kim - posted on 02/26/2011 ( 28 moms have responded )

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When I found out I was pregnant with twins, I always thought twins were hereditary. I have no history of twins in my family that I know of, and neither does their father. Doing research while I was pregnant I read a lot of things that said Fraternal twins are hereditary and Identical are not. One of my ob/gyn's who is a Fraternal twin himself, told me twins are NOT hereditary. What does everyone else think?

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Celeste - posted on 02/28/2011

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Like some of the PP's mentioned, fraternal twins can run in families (on the MOTHER'S side, the father's side has nothing to do with ovulating more than one egg). However, the father CAN pass down the hyperovulation gene to his daughter IF his mother's side had fraternal twins, though that won't increase his chances of having fraternal twins.

However, in my family, there is no history of fraternal twins.

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Donna-louise - posted on 03/11/2014

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I am a twin identical girls and we have twin aunties and twin nieces. Ever set are identical. Very amazing.

Liz - posted on 03/07/2011

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I don't think fraternals always have to be hereditary, it's just a bigger chance of having fraternals if they are hereditary. I think if the gene does not run in your family then it is just as likely to be a fluke as having a set of identical multiples would be.

Ciera - posted on 03/07/2011

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Are fraternals ALWAYS hereditary though? I can't seem to find this out! Mine are fraternal but I do not know of ANY fraternals on either mine or my husbands side! I only need to know bc my twins just turned 2 last month and I also have a 7 month old daughter. My husband and I want another baby but not 2 more so that is making us hesitate. If it is not hereditary, then mine were just a fluke and most likely we won't have any more, but if it is hereditary, then that mesans i could very easily have another set. Does anyone know if you can have fraternals even if it is NOT hereditary? and how can you know for sure if you have the gene or not?

Charlene - posted on 03/06/2011

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Both my grandfathers were one of fraternal twins and my great grandmother was one of fraternal twins and my dad has 2 sets of fraternal cousins, so I definitely got the hyper ovulating gene from all sides. I'm so freaking scared to fall pregnant again!

Hannah - posted on 03/06/2011

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Twins seem to skip a generation with my family. My father was a twin, I had b/g twins 8 months ago.

Erin - posted on 03/05/2011

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Yes, b/g identicals. For the past 10 years, researchers have gone to the annual TwinsDays festival in Twinsburg, Ohio, to teat DNA on b/g twins to find enough of a test group. In their findings, they have been able to supply enough evidence to show a test group of identical sets of b/g twins. It is due to a zygote starting with 3 chromosomes (xxy) and splitting into 2 (xx and xy) to develop into boy and girl who are identical because they were monozygotic at conception.
That was the point of my post...we just don't know all that much about twins! There are constant and ongoing twins research projects going on to try and shed more light on the topic, but at this time, deeper knowledge about "us twins" is still very elusive. Twins are still one of natures wonders.

Kim - posted on 03/05/2011

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Well I guess we'll never know for sure. My boys were mono/di twins. They are identical, but not exactly. They have little differences... one is 2 lbs bigger than the other and always has been bigger. The smaller one had a one artery umbilical cord. His head is a little smaller and an inch shorter too. But other than that they have the same physical characteristics, eyes, hair etc. Twins are just an amazing thing!

Carlene - posted on 03/04/2011

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well, twins totally run in my family, there has been @ least one set of twins every generation for the past 6,skipping my grandmothers' although each my grandmother and her two sisters had a miscarriage at one point in time:/

Shannon - posted on 03/04/2011

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Boy/Girl identicals???? You need the same DNA that is why they are identical so Im pretty sure, thats a no go

Shannon - posted on 03/04/2011

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Its so controversial!!
I always thought the same and was actually also told that by doctors.
but fraternal twins are also more common in moms who get pregnant later in life.
My GF has identical twins and BOTH her mom and dad were identical twins, go figure!!
The only thing i am sre of is when ppl say "twins run on my husbands/BF side", guys do not produce 2 soerm in a preganncy so.....its up to us or nature ladies :)

Erin - posted on 03/04/2011

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My mother is the surviving identical of TtTTS; my twin and I are identical; my kids are b/g fraternal. My father's aunt had 1 set identical girls, and 1 set fraternal boys. My father's uncles are fraternal boys. There are about another 6 pairs of twins on both sides of my family in just my direct familial lines.
The fact is, doctors have absolutely no conclusive proof of heridtarity regarding twins. There are only anecdotes regarding one family's experience or another.
There is not a lot of knowledge regarding things like twin-to-twin transfusion syndrome, half-identicals, b/g identicals, etc.
The genetic tendencies to produce multiples and which side are as unfamiliar to the medical unity as all the functions our brains perform.

Sarah - posted on 03/04/2011

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I was told that fraternal twins are hereditary but identical are not? Also told that the older you are the more likely. I had b/g twins, first pregnancy and was 35. On my side, my mother and her mother were twins, g/g but not identical and my grandmother on my dads side is a twin, b/g. On my husbands side, his mother is a twin g/g not identical and her mother was an identical twin. So the big joke all around when we first found out we were pregnant was that it would be twins and voila they were right. So for us, in 4 generations it only skipped one. 5 sets fraternal and 1 set identical. I tend to lean towards it being hereditary, for the fraternal twins. Congrats and enjoy!

Sharon - posted on 03/04/2011

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I'm at a loss. I have fraternal twin girls. There is a history of twins on both sides, but so far removed; my grandmother's brother had twins and my husbands mother's aunts are twins. Not a direct line. There seems to be no rhyme or reason in my family, I guess it was just the luck of the draw! :)

Shanda - posted on 03/04/2011

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My doctor keeps encouraging me to have the DNA test done to prove if they are identical or not, I just can't afford it. Were yours mono/di or mono/mono?

Jenny - posted on 03/04/2011

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I have id. twin girls and was totally surprised since twins do not run in my family at all. My dr told me that being older increases your chances and having several kids does to. I was 29 when i had them and already had 3 boys, and the ultrasound tech says well they have to start somewhere lol

Shanda - posted on 03/04/2011

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Have you had a dna test? Your's definitly sound fraternal if they have different hair color!

Marie - posted on 03/04/2011

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that's what the doctors said to me too.. their head shapes are different, hair colours are different, ones forehead is a bit bigger than the others...they are definitely not identical..my moms boys you can barely tell them apart! they even have the same sounding voices, lol...

my boys were born 'on time' at 38 weeks 2 days, and were pretty much exactly the same size.. 5lbs 1oz and 5lbs..

Shanda - posted on 03/04/2011

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@ Marie Gudgeon...I have identical twins boys, also, that don't look alike to me. From the ultrasounds and the delivery, the doctors say they have to be identical, but even their pediatrician thinks they don't look identical. Were your's born early? Was one much smaller than the other?

@Kim, just like what the other moms on here state, fraternal is hereditary, identical is not. Very similar to how girls start their periods around the same age as their mom or aunts, women also inherit the ability to double ovulate. That's why, when it is inherited, it is only through the mom's side. With identical twins, it is considered an anomaly, meaning something goes wrong with the egg, it collapses and splits. These theories are known to change every few decades, but as of right now, science says fraternal twins can be hereditary and identical twins are not.

My pediatrician seems to think that my boys are half-identical, meaning that two sperm got to each of the halves of the split egg. This is something that they don't know much about, but some feel that it happens more often than they have proof of. So...who knows?!

Marie - posted on 03/04/2011

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my mom had identical twin boys, before her i don't know of anyone else in my family having twins, and i had twin boys too, doctors said they're identical but they look nothing alike!

Kerri - posted on 03/01/2011

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Twins are every generation in my family. there hasnt been a generation yet in all of our family history that does not have twins in it. I do beleive that it is hereditary. I am an identical twin myself and my twin was pregnant with a set of twins but 1 didnt make it

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My mother has a twin brother and I have 14 month b/g twins. When I found out I was expecting twins I did a little research. What I found out was that because my mother is a fraternal twin I was 5 times more likely to have fraternal twins.

Tiffany - posted on 02/27/2011

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My grandmother has 3 sets of Great GrandTwins. 2 sets are from me. She also had twin brothers so I guess you could say it runs in the family!

Amanda - posted on 02/27/2011

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My twins are via IVF, but I've read a lot of books and have to agree with all the other posters. I've also read that there is a increased chance for twins in your 30's as you have an increased chance of ovulating more than 1 egg.

Kim - posted on 02/27/2011

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My boys are mono/di twins. I was actually told at a younger age that it would be difficult for me to have kids because I didn't ovulate regularly. I wasn't trying to get pregnant, but ended up with my boys at 33 years old.

Heather - posted on 02/26/2011

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If twins run in your family it is a hereditary thing, but there is no scientific reason for it to skip a generation. It has to be on the mothers side because it's hyper ovulation, as Liz said. So if my husband has twins in his family, it wont effect our children, however it could effect our daughters, but not our sons direct children and so on... That being said, My Dad's aunt and uncle are twins. He always told us growing up that it skipped a generation and one of us would have twins. I had completely forgotten about it until I called to tell him I was having twins...

Liz - posted on 02/26/2011

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I've always heard that if you have twins that don't run in your family it's more likely to be identical, and you have a higher chance of having twins if they run in your family. Especally if it is on your mother's side because that is where the hyper ovulation comes from.

That being said, My great aunt was a twin, and there were no twins in the family up until my sister had hers ( IVF) then I had mine natural. Mine are b/g twins her's are b/b twins.

So I think it makes it a bit higher chance, but that doesn't mean that people that don't have twins in their family can't have twins. Just less likely to have fraternals because of the whole hyper ovulation thing that is passed down.

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