As a kid, I wished on every shooting star, every yellow traffic light, every eyelash, and every birthday cake candle for a twin. So when I read that twin births are at an all time high right now in the United States, I was all, FML. Why couldn't my embryo have been a viable party of two? In 2013's report, there were 33.7 twins per every 1000 births. Now, in 2015, we're up to 33.9 twins per every 1000 births. It's not a drastic change — it's not like some science fiction thriller where every pregnant woman has splitting embryos under her sweater and will soon be giving birth to babies like a dog gives birth to a litter of puppies. But, it is an increase, and like any increase, researchers like to ask themselves, uh, why?
Well, it's actually a pretty simple reason: IVF. More and more women are waiting to have children into their 30s and 40s, which means that more and more women are turning to in vitro fertilization for assistance. The way IVF works is that your fertility doctor implants as many embryos as possible in order to increase the chances of having a viable embryo. But IVF is a pretty solid practice and so it's working — better than some people anticipated. Woman are finding that two or three embryos are viable, resulting in twins and triplets, or in Kate Gosselin's case, twins and sextuplets.
That said, the upward trend does suggest that the next report will feature an even higher twin rate. So maybe by the time our kids have kids, everyone will have a Mary-Kate to their Ashley. Ah, what a wonderful world.