For women who have been trying to conceive, especially for women who have been using fertility treatments or medications, finding out that you are pregnant is an extremely exciting time. Many women, once they become pregnant, may wonder if they are going to have twins. This is especially true for women whose fertility treatments tend to produce twin or multiple pregnancies. There are certain early signs that a woman can watch for to see if she may be pregnant with twins.
One of the early signs of a twin pregnancy is that other signs of pregnancy might be exaggerated. The extra hormones that a woman who is pregnant with twins has can make breasts even more tender, make you more tired, make you need to urinate even more frequently, and, unfortunately, cause more morning sickness or nausea.
Another sign of a twin pregnancy is rapid weight gain in the first trimester. This is normal and common for women who are pregnant with twins or multiples. Measuring large for gestational age, in which your health care provider determines that your uterus is larger than usual for how far along in pregnancy you are can be another early sign of a twin pregnancy.
Women who are pregnant with twins often have elevated levels of a protein released by the baby called AFP, or alpha fetoprotein. In addition, you will probably have rapidly rising levels of Human Chorionic Gonadotrophin, or hCG for short, which is a hormone produced by the fertilized egg and used to help your pregnancy while the placenta is developing.
One of the most reliable signs that you are carrying twins is the presence of multiple heartbeats. At around 12 weeks of pregnancy, your health care provider will be able to do a Doppler test, in which he may be able to distinguish two heartbeats. An ultrasound can also reliably reveal whether or not you are carrying twins. At around six weeks of pregnancy, a skilled technician can find two embryos, two heartbeats, and two sacs.
Finally, many women just know when they are pregnant with twins. While intuition is not scientifically reliable, a woman’s ability to know her own body cannot be discounted.