An article published in yesterday’s The Washington Post, Twins are Multiplying, Raising New Questions for the Nature vs. Nurture Debate, by Janice D’Arcy confirms that there actually has been an increase in the incidence of twins in the U.S. population, and not just among celebrities like Jennifer Lopez, Julia Roberts, Angelina Jolie, and Celine Dion. Fertility treatments and older mothers are the major contributors to the increase from 1 in 53 births in 1980 to 1 in 30 in 2009. The latest data is based on a Center for Disease Control and Prevention Report released this month.
Even though I knew twins were more common in older moms when I became pregnant with fraternal twins in 2003 at the age of 33, I didn’t see myself as older. The shock was staggering when the doctor asked, “Are you the couple that really wanted twins? Congratulations!” Although we did have help when we used an anonymous sperm donor, I was not taking ovulation drugs so my twins probably fall in the “older mother” statistic.
Ruby and Raven, the fraternal twins conceived from my donated eggs, are here in part thanks to In vitro Fertilization (IVF).
If this trend continues, perhaps being a twin will eventually lose it’s social novelty and the misunderstandings and misperceptions (such as that fraternal twins are very similar) will become only a faint memory?