Thursday, March 15, 2007

What are the Odds?

When you decide to pursue fertility treatments, the doctor warns you that your odds for conceiving multiples are increased. For the treatment I was using, they told me that I had a 20% chance for twins and a 5% chance for triplets. They didn't even give me a figure for anything higher than triplets, because it was small enough to be negligible. I later found out that if you are using fertility treatments, the odds for conceiving quintuplets is 1 in 56,000. Even if I had known that statistic upfront, I am sure I would not have been concerned--after all, no one ever thinks that they are going to be the "one". (With the exception of lottery players, who all expect to the "one").

To put these odds in perspective, I looked up a few other interesting odds:

Odds of being hit by lightening in your lifetime: 1 in 3000
Odds of injury from mowing the lawn: 1 in 3623
Odds of being audited by the IRS: 1 in 175
Odds of dating a supermodel: 1 in 88,000
Odds of catching a ball at a major league baseball game: 1 in 563
Odds of becoming a pro athlete: 1 in 22,000
Odds of striking it rich on Antiques Roadshow: 1 in 60,000

Our next ultrasound is tomorrow and we are hoping that they will be able to determine the gender of the babies. Because I am a numbers geek (otherwise known as a statistician), I calculated the odds for each of the possible gender combinations.

5 boys, 0 girls: 1 in 32
4 boys, 1 girl: 5 in 32
3 boys, 2 girls: 10 in 32
2 boys, 3 girls: 10 in 32
1 boy, 4 girls: 5 in 32
0 boys, 5 girls: 1 in 32

Ideally, I would like to have some of each, a 3/2 split. The odds are pretty good (about 62.5% probability) that this will be the case. However, based on my historical ability to beat the odds, I am not placing any bets!

Note: For more interesting odds, visit


Mama Knucker Hatch said...

May the odds be with you! In every way, you are greatly blessed. :) Enjoy your ultrasound tomorrow.

Unknown said...

I found you through youtube. I think this is awesome that you are have 5! I am pregnant right now and i am 13 weeks along, I think i am expecting twins. I will find out in 4 weeks. CONGRATS!

Unknown said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Suzanne said...

gosh...i KNOW! after researching those odds, my husband and i went out and bought lottery tickets the day we found out! how far along are you? how soon are they able to tell the gender?

Me said...

Those statistics have a bias. At least some RE's won't do an insem with 3+ follicles mature.