BY TINA KLUGMAN
WHY ARE MORE PEOPLE HAVING TWINS THESE DAYS? “Are they identical?” “Do twins run in your family?” “Are they natural?” These are just a few of the questions parents of multiples can expect to hear each time they venture out in public. Multiples, although more common now than 30 years ago, attract a lot of attention.
As a mother of twins, I can vouch for this. Mothers of multiples often feel a bit like celebrities when we run errands. However, along with the usual questions, I often hear a comment similar to this: “It seems like everyone has twins nowadays!” (Higher birth orders — triplets, quadruplets, etc. — still seem to be an anomaly.) While many people have noticed the increase in multiple births in recent years, they don’t always know the reasons why. According to a report released in 2012 by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the twin birth rate rose 76 percent from 1980 to 2009. In 2009, one in every 30 babies born was a twin, compared with one in every 53 babies in
1980. The rate of identical twins, which are spontaneous, has remained constant throughout history, while the rate of fraternal twins has increased. This could be due partly to genetics, as fraternal twins tend to run in families. The CDC estimates that about twothirds of twin births are caused by fertility treatments. According to Dr. Gehlbach, MD, a board certified reproductive endocrinologist at Olathe-based Midwest Reproductive Center, fertility medications (such as clomiphene citrate and letrozole) make up the majority of fertility treatments, although the type of fertility treatment depends on the number of infertility problems a couple may have. “If a woman only has an ovulation