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Everyday life. Is it good to have twins? You will be surprised by the answer

Are women pregnant with twins more fertile than others? Contrary to the myth supported by several disparate studies, this is not the case. The Leibniz Research Institute for Wildlife and Zoos (IZW), together with 14 researchers in Europe, analyzed more than 100,000 human births in Europe from pre-industrial times to the present day. Result: it’s “just” luck.

Research seemed to correlate the myth

The researchers note that twins make up 1 to 3% of human births. “These births pose an increased risk for mother and children,” the institute explains. “However, natural selection did not prevent this evolution, but only limited it.”

The myth is that the most fertile women are more likely to have twins because their ovaries produce multiple eggs at the time of ovulation due to over-fertility. Population studies seemed to correlate with this.

“These studies are problematic because they don’t say whether mothers of twins have more children because they are very fertile, or whether having more children increases the chances of having children. Twins”.

Fertility is not unusual

“For these studies, the more children a woman has, the more likely she is to give birth to twins,” says co-author Ian Rickard of Durham University, UK. “It’s a ‘lottery effect’: the more tickets you buy, the more chances you have of winning. But our study shows that mothers of twins have fewer children. This contradicts previous results.

The institute shows that mothers of twins “are not unusually fertile.”

Why is this important to researchers? For public health reasons, including fertility research. “There is still much to be learned about twins,” recalls Alexandre Courtiol, co-author. “Our results show that natural selection has preserved these births for two reasons: double ovulation compensates for late reproductive age and is therefore less pronounced in young mothers; and although their mothers give birth less often, twins are associated with large families simply because one birth adds two children.

With this new data, one thing is clear: the twins haven’t finished the fascinating science yet.

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