Possible signs of a twin pregnancy

Whether or not you have a twin pregnancy, it’s always helpful to know how twins are conceived and how they grow inside the womb. Let’s see it in this article. “It’s twins!” are the words you might hear when your doctor identifies not just one, but two fetuses in your belly! However, it must also be said that many expectant mothers feel the symptoms of a twin pregnancy long before they are given this “official news”, as early as the first trimester.

Twin births

The man always releases a very large amount of sperm.

The future mother, during an ovarian cycle can sometimes release more than one egg, eggs that the spermatozoa can go to fertilize determining a twin pregnancy. In this case we speak of heterozygous twins.

But it also happens that a twin pregnancy develops from only one fertilized egg. In this case the embryo is divided into two, and forms two twins called homozygous, identical.

That said, expecting two babies does not necessarily mean you have “twice the symptoms of pregnancy” than a woman with a single fetus.

In twin pregnancies there may be a higher level of beta HCG hormone (Human Chorionic Gonadotropin, in Italian human chorionic gonadotropin, a hormone that is produced only by the embryo during pregnancy, at the beginning of the second week of development).

However, even the standard level of this hormone in the case of twins can be within the normal range of a single pregnancy.

Below we will illustrate – by way of example – some symptoms that can be the signal during the first trimester of pregnancy of the existence of a twin pregnancy.

Greater weight gain

At each follow-up visit, your doctor measures your weight and uterus growth.

That said, many women until the second trimester (around the 20th week) do not experience obvious signs and symptoms of an ongoing pregnancy.

However, precisely because they are carrying two babies, pregnant twins may feel signs much earlier.

In fact, while the weight of most women pregnant with only one child increases by about 10-15 kg, the weight of a woman pregnant with twins increases by about 15-20 kg.

A woman in whom the weight and size of the uterus have increased more than expected, may be expecting twins.

However, it is also possible that the woman experiences greater weight for other reasons: it could depend on a wrong assessment of the date of delivery or an excess of amniotic fluid.

In this regard, it must also be said that many doctors do not recommend undergoing a prenatal check-up until about eight weeks.

Morning sickness and vomiting

Morning sickness and vomiting are the classic symptoms of gestation that occur in the first trimester of pregnancy.

This is because, the high amount of hormones circulating in the body can contribute to the occurrence of nausea and vomiting.

Usually, vomiting due to natural fluctuations in hormones is worse in the morning, and improves as the day goes by.

Often women with twins have more attacks of morning sickness, as they have higher levels of hormones, which could cause them greater nausea.

If this is your case, it is important that you contact your doctor: particularly if you also have difficulty swallowing food and water, as these are very important during the first few weeks.

Blood tests with high hormone levels

During pregnancy, for a variety of reasons, the doctor may order blood tests for the woman. These include

alpha-fetoprotein (AFP) test

The alpha-fetoprotein (AFP) test concerns a protein that may indicate the presence of twins, but also the existence of some congenital disabilities, such as neural tube defects and genetic defects:

  • the fetal liver secretes this hormone;
  • if there are his fetuses, AFP levels will be higher;

Sometimes, therefore, the presence of these excess hormones can indicate that a twin pregnancy is underway.

test for beta HCG hormone

High levels of HCG, the so-called pregnancy hormone, can also indicate a multiple pregnancy: if a woman has abnormally high hCG levels, one of the possible explanations is that she is pregnant with twins.

Recall that human chorionic gonadotropin or hCG is a hormone that is essential for the good continuation of gestation.

Early fetal movements

Towards the end of the first trimester of pregnancy, a woman may be surprised to feel movements in her belly!

While most women usually don’t feel their baby moving until the second trimester of pregnancy, some women with twins may start hearing their babies much earlier.

This may be because babies have less wiggle room in the womb. As a result, their movements could be more easily detected and felt sooner.

However, moms of twins needn’t worry if they still don’t feel their babies moving  in the first trimester .

An extreme fatigue

Raising a child is every mom’s hard work. Raising two children can also be physically more taxing.

An expectant mother is more likely to experience high levels of fatigue in the first trimester.

Some of the reasons for this increased feeling of fatigue are the increased time it takes to increase blood volume and to deliver nutrients and oxygen to the two babies.

Progesterone is a hormone that is essential to allow pregnancy to proceed properly. An increase in it can also lead to this symptom.

Sometimes, even if a woman is very happy to be pregnant and to have twins, the mere fact of knowing that she has two children in her womb can be a source of great anxiety.

And this, in the first trimester can make her feel physically tired: these emotions are completely normal.

To conclude

There are many women who report “intuiting” that they are carrying more than one child.

However, this sensation can only be confirmed by their doctor through ultrasound visualization of their fetus.

A doctor to listen to the baby’s heartbeat can also make use of Doppler ultrasound technology: when a woman is pregnant with twins, she will not hear a single heartbeat, but two impulses that pass through the Doppler.

Those just described are just some of the signs of what is about to happen, as they continue to grow not one, but two children to be welcomed into the world.

Katherine Johnson, M.D., is a board-certified obstetrician-gynecologist with clinical expertise in general obstetrics and gynecology, family planning, women’s health, and gynecology.

She is affiliated with the Obstetrics and Gynecology division at an undisclosed healthcare institution and the online platform, Maternicity.com.

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