Signs of Twins in Early Pregnancy

Most pregnant women often ask one question, "Is there a possibility of having twins?" Having twins is more common than you think. There is always a possibility that you will have twins unless the presence of only one embryo is already confirmed. You are more likely to have twins if you have previously had twins, have a family history of twins, or have received fertility assistance. Most women do not know but some types of fertility-assisted conception can increase the chance of having a multiple birth. The question is, "Can you tell if you are going to have twins?" Let's find out more about it.

Signs of Twins in Early Pregnancy: What You Can Feel

When you become pregnant, you experience some changes in your body due to hormonal imbalance. With twins these symptoms can be different because your body produces more hormones than pregnancy with one baby. The following signs will give you some clues:

1. Exaggerated Symptoms

Your body produces more hormones when you are carrying twins, and this intensifies symptoms such as tiredness, frequent urination, breast aches, and morning sickness. Many studies have found that women carrying twins are more likely to deal with extreme morning sickness. This usually happens due to increased levels of the protein molecule alpha-fetoprotein and the hormone hCG. While these symptoms may indicate multiples, every pregnancy is unique. You may have other problems intensifying your pregnancy symptoms. Talk to your doctor for confirmation.

2. Excessive Body Weight

You are going to measure large when carrying multiples as compared to when you are pregnant with one baby. Every woman gains weight during pregnancy, but how much you gain depends on your body type, height, and your body weight before becoming pregnant. In some cases, increased body weight may only be due to what you eat during pregnancy. Some women with twins only gain 10 pounds more than those who carry one baby.

3. Baby Measuring Large

Measuring larger than your gestational age may well be among the signs of twins in early pregnancy. Your doctor will measure the height of your uterine fundus from the top of the uterus to the top of the pubic bone throughout your pregnancy to help indicate gestational age. However, you may measure larger for gestational age if you are carrying multiples. It is important to keep in mind though that many other factors can also change the measurements.

4. Early Fetal Movement

Although medical professionals believe that feeling the movement of baby or babies may have nothing to do with how many of them you are carrying, most women with multiples believe they have experienced frequent fetal movement.

In addition, you are likely to have twins if there are multiples in your family. When you experience exaggerated symptoms, increased body weight, and early fetal movement with a family history of twins, the chances are you are going to have multiples.

Signs of Twins in Early Pregnancy: What the Exams Tell

If you suspect you are carrying more than one baby, you may want to pay attention to some of the signs mentioned already. However, you cannot say for sure just by considering signs of twins in early pregnancy. Luckily, there are other ways to confirm. For instance:

1. Greatly Elevated HCG Levels

Your doctor will keep an eye on your HCG levels throughout your pregnancy. This hormone is detectable in your blood about 10 days before you conceive. It goes up quickly and peaks when you are about 10-week pregnant. An elevated level of this hormone may indicate twins. Further exam is still needed to confirm multiples.

2. More Than One Heartbeat

A Doppler system makes use of harmless sound waves to amplify fetal heart sounds – it is usually more effective late in your first trimester. An experienced midwife of doctor can detect if there is more than one heartbeat. This helps confirm if you are carrying multiples. It is not always correct though because the second heartbeat may only be background noise or mother's own heartbeat.

3. Ultrasonic Study Result

You can definitely see signs of twins in early pregnancy but the only way to confirm is to go for an ultrasonic study. Your doctor will have a look at ultrasound images to identify the presence of more than one baby. You should talk to your doctor if you suspect you are carrying multiples, and they will confirm through ultrasound. Ultrasound images are usually good enough to tell if you have an additional baby – they are more accurate in the second and third trimesters. Rarely, women have twins but one does not show on ultrasound – it is called the case of hidden twins and is more common when you are carrying sextuplets or quintuplets.

Mind Complications When Carrying Twins

It feels great to become pregnant, especially when you have been trying for some time. It feels even better to know you are carrying twins. However, you need to keep in touch with your doctor throughout your pregnancy because you are likely to experience certain complications when expecting twins. For instance:

  • Premature birth: You may end up dealing with early labor when carrying twins. It usually happens when there isn't enough space for babies. Your baby is premature if you deliver before 38 weeks of gestation. While a slight prematurity does not always lead to health issues, it is still important for babies to gestate as long as possible.
  • Low birth weight: Your twins may be underweight at the time of delivery. It is quite common but you can prevent this issue by paying attention to your diet throughout your pregnancy.
  • Weight difference: When carrying twins, it is not uncommon to have one baby weigh more than its sibling. It all depends on how much space and nutrition each receives during gestation.
  • Gestational diabetes: It is possible to develop gestational diabetes when carrying twins, but it resolves without any treatment after delivery. It is, however, important to work with your healthcare provider throughout your pregnancy to keep your diabetes in control. 

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