The easiest way to determine how many babies – one or two – you are expecting is doing an ultrasound at the 5th-6th week of pregnancy, but there are situations when tests and ultrasound are unavailable. And yet, every pregnant woman wants to know what to expect and wants to be prepared. So, what are the main twin pregnancy symptoms?
How to Understand that you are Expecting Twins?
It should be noted that the signs that allow determining the development of multiple pregnancy can be conditionally combined into two groups – the sensations of the pregnant woman herself at the level of intuition and scientifically grounded facts. Often it happens that the hints that intuition gives us may prove to be very reliable.
But nevertheless the presence in the uterus of two or more babies can be determined only by the attending physician after an ultrasound diagnosis.
But sometimes even the first ultrasound doesn’t give accurate predictions, whether it is a multiple pregnancy. Therefore, a woman should have patience and wait for the results of the second ultrasound or carefully observe her well-being.
After all, there are twin pregnancy symptoms that can be a signal that a pregnant woman expects two or more babies.
Possible Factors and Predispositions for Multiple Pregnancy
There are many predisposing factors to the appearance of twins:
- Hereditary factor. If relatives of one of the partners had twins – the likelihood of multiple pregnancies increases. The possibility of having twins passes through one generation;
- Age of the woman is more than 35 years. The older the woman is, the higher is the probability of the birth of twins;
- Stimulation of ovulation. When a woman is diagnosed with infertility, doctors prescribe hormonal drugs that stimulate the maturation of follicles. Under the influence of these drugs several follicles can ripen simultaneously;
- After the termination of combined oral contraceptives, weak ovaries begin to activate. As a result, they synthesize their own hormones. For this reason, several ovules can ripen at once.
- Deviations from the correct functioning of the ovaries. The norm in this process is the production of one egg (respectively, the birth of one baby). However, if the ovaries don’t work correctly and deviate from the norm, two ovules are formed in the process of ovulation in the female body. This is the reason for the birth of two children.
- Artificial stimulation. In addition to IVF, pregnancy with twins can be artificially provoked by the use of specialized medications that stimulate the work of the ovaries and contribute to the production of several ovules.
- Malformations of the uterus. This physiological deviation, due to its peculiarities, can also cause a number of viable egg cells to form in the body of a woman.
- IVF. The peculiarities of the procedure of artificial insemination are another reason why two fetuses can form in the mother’s body.
Twin Pregnancy Symptoms
Do not ignore your intuition. A lot of women are sure that they are pregnant with twins from the moment of conception. Often, twins’ mothers admit to being aware of their impending birth at the earliest stages of pregnancy. If you feel that you expect twins, be sure to tell the doctor about it.
The level of HCG hormone is twice higher in pregnancy with twins. That’s why the strip of the control test for pregnancy will be distinct and of rich color. In the woman’s blood the level of the HCG hormone will be increased. HCG level is the main indicator of pregnancy.
High biochemical indicators
During pregnancy with twins, some biochemical tests results are higher. For example, the level of Alpha-fetoprotein can be increased. Or a high level of hormone HCG, which supports pregnancy. As the placenta develops, its presence can be determined in the blood or urine before the delay in menstruation. Many pregnancy tests are based on its data.
Intensified morning sickness and/or vomiting
A higher, in comparison with usual pregnancy, content of the hormone HCG (pregnancy hormone) can increase morning sickness. Nausea, sometimes accompanied by vomiting, can begin only a week after conception, that is, even before the start of your usual menstrual cycle. Nausea occurs more often in the morning, but it is possible at any other time of the day.
Drowsiness and apathy
While expecting twins, a woman very often suffers from a decrease in working capacity, fatigue, and always wants to sleep. This feature manifests itself from the first days after a successful conception, when a woman still does not suspect that she is pregnant.
Intensification of other signs of pregnancy
In many (but not all) women waiting for twins, other manifestations of pregnancy are increasing – due to a more significant increase in hormones compared to the usual single pregnancy. For example, the sensitivity of breasts increases, the urge to urinate occurs more often, excessive fatigue and hunger also present.
In the second trimester, severe dyspnea, convulsions in the arms and legs, a sharp increase in weight and size of the abdomen, as well as fetal movements may appear. Reduction of hemoglobin or anemia are also common phenomena for multiple pregnancies. And this, in general, is not surprising, because during such pregnancy the load on the organism of the future mother increases several times depending on how many babies she is carrying. Unfortunately, this means that complications during such pregnancy occur much more often.
Rapid weight gain from the first days of pregnancy
By the way, this is one of the first signs of having two babies in the uterus. This is absolutely normal: during pregnancy with twins, nutrition in the first trimester is of particular importance. And a quick weight gain is not fearful and even necessary.
High physiological indices
Even at the first medical examination you can be told that the size of your uterus is slightly larger for the estimated time of pregnancy. This tendency will remain throughout the whole gestation period. There will be more and other physiological indicators as well.
Changes of the Skin
Another sign of twin pregnancy symptoms is worsening of the skin condition. Women can note eruptions and acne. This is quite a natural process, because the organism of a pregnant woman undergoes a global hormonal reorganization. In our case of multiple pregnancy the dose of hormones is double.
Rapid growth of the pregnant belly
You can visually see it as early as from the 14th week. Naturally, the future mother will be able to feel the movements of the babies earlier than the woman pregnant with one child.
The Babies Movements
Twins move much earlier (about the week on the 15th), than in normal pregnancy, as the babies are tight, they fit tightly to the walls of the uterus, and the woman will feel their first movements much earlier.
The heartbeat of two hearts is heard
When the doctor begins to listen to the baby’s heartbeat, instead of one he will hear two hearts. Two separate palpitations can be distinguished already at the 13th week of pregnancy, by the 28th the doctor will be able to feel parts of the body to the touch.
Medical Twin Pregnancy Symptoms
- Results of ultrasound examination.
- Abnormally high blood test results for AFP.
- The beating of two hearts, diagnosed by the Doppler system.
- Significant expansion of the uterus, determined in the diagnosis of the height of the uterine fundus.
Obstetricians-gynecologists distinguish the following twin pregnancy symptoms:
- Deepening of the uterine fundus, felt by palpation. Growing fetuses protrude the corners of the genital organ. Also, the doctor can detect two heads and two pelvic ends during palpation.
- Ultrasound at a period of 8-12 weeks can already show the presence of two or three babies. But at this time mistakes can also take place.
- Phonocardiography, electrocardiography. This study is made after 20 weeks of the term. It helps doctors to hear the beating of two hearts, their heart tones, which additionally confirms the multiple pregnancy.
- Test for alfa-fetoprotein. It is held in the second trimester of pregnancy. It determines the level of risk of fetal development anomalies. As practice shows, with multiple pregnancies, the result of this test is not just positive, but also very high.
So, there are a lot of twin pregnancy symptoms. Therefore, a woman has the opportunity to prepare in advance for a double responsibility and stress. And according to the current regulations in obstetrics, such a future mother should attend a women’s consultation every ten days, in the third trimester – every week.
But there is no need to be afraid of multiple pregnancy and birth of 2 babies. The level of modern medicine allows women to normally endure and give birth to their babies.