Chances of Having Twins

A Quick Look at the Odds

What are my chances of having twins or triplets?

The chances of having twins, triplets or other multiples without the assistance of fertility treatments or procedures like invitro fertilization, are:

  • Fraternal Twins – 1 in 80 births
  • Identical Twins – 1 in 285
  • Triplets – 1 in 8100
  • Quadruplets – 1 in 729,000
  • Conjoined Twins – 1 in 50,000 – 80,000
  • Quintuplets: 1 in 55,000,000
  • Quads that are made up of two sets of identical twins: 1 in 25-36 million

The numbers vary slightly in various studies, but pretty much your chance of having ‘unassisted’ multiples is about 3% - 5%.

Some inquisitive people will ask parents if twins are "natural". I always found that a slightly odd way of asking about children; what is an unnatural child, anyway? What they really mean to ask is "Did you have any fertility treatments or procedures done that resulted in twins (triplets, etc.)". As a mother of twins, I much prefer the term "unassisted".