More twins worldwide than ever before: study

More twins are being born now than ever before

largely due to rising use of in vitro fertilization (IVF)

and other assisted reproduction techniques

Source: study

With about 1.6 million twins born each year worldwide

the global twinning rate has risen by a third since the 1980s

(SOUNDBITE) (English) PROFESSOR CHRISTIAAN MONDEN, UNIVERSITY OF OXFORD, SAYING:"We think we're actually at the peak or that we might be at the peak because this increase that we've seen driven by IVF, that has come to a standstill and in some cases actually has already declined a little bit because the the treatment is more effective. It's more successful now than it used to be if only one embryo is transferred back. And that obviously will in most cases not lead to a twin. And we don't see that being reversed, going back to more embryos, being transferred."