Ask any mum of twins – finding out you’re expecting not one, but TWO babies is a pretty big shock.
But, for the mums-to-be in Kodinhi, a small Indian village, having twins is practically the norm. #Twinning
Okay, not quite the norm. But the twin population in Kodinhi is still out of this world. The Indian town boasts a population of around 11,000 people, 1,000 of which are twins. If we do the maths (which we did), this means approximately 10% of the population are twins.
Now, that’s A LOT of twins!
The average rate for twins in Kodinhi is around 42 every 1,000 births. This is almost six times higher than the global average of around six per 1,000 births. And this number keeps increasing! In just ten years, the number of twins has doubled.
The twinning phenomenon started around 70 years ago and Kodinhi is now intentionally known as the Twin Town.
Doctors from the UK, India and Germany have all been trying to figure this phenomenon out. They’ve looked at diet, lifestyle, DNA samples. And so far, they haven’t solved the pairing puzzle.
So, what in the world is going on?
Is it something they ate?
No. Scientists haven’t found anything that would suggest so. Studies have shown that the dietary patterns of residents in Kodinhi are similar to the rest of Kerala (the state of Kodinhi).
Considering other families in Kerala are not blessed with twins at such an extraordinary rate, it would appear it has nothing to do with diet.
Is it due to IVF?
“Unlike in the West and other locations where twinning is also rife, in Kodinhi the situation is different. There are no artificial methods used, no IVF or contraceptive pills and women do not resort to clomiphene citrate oral medication to promote ovulation,” Dr Sribjiu explains.
Is it genetics?
Possibly. After all, twins run in the family. But even women who have come to Kodinhi after marrying someone here have experienced twin births.
Plus, when compared to the scientific studies from around the world, nothing seems to add up in regards to the Kodinhi twins phenomenon. Many studies indicate that twins are more likely in older, more mature women, in a second or later pregnancy and in women who are on the taller side.
However, none of these are true in Kodinhi.
Most of the women who gave birth to twins were relatively young (between 18 and 20) and had them in their first pregnancy. Plus, the average height of women in Kodinhi? Just 5 feet.
Is it something in the air?
Maybe. This seems the most plausible reason at this stage. According to Dr. Sribiju, there may be a chemical or component in the air, earth or water that is stimulating the female ovary to produce dizygotic eggs.
Dr. Sribiju explains, “We think more will be revealed through a detailed genetic and environment study, and the task now is to find out what the stimulator is.”
The bottom line? If you’re hoping for twins in the future, maybe a trip to Kodinhi should be on the cards? Looking for more cool twin tales? Have a read of WHAT? Mum Gives Birth to Twins 26 Days After Her Firstborn.