Twin Pregnancy - Signs And Symptoms

Pregnant with Twins - Signs, And Symptoms

An expectant mother's body begins to produce hormones and undergoes a lot of physical changes as soon as her pregnancy begins. These are one of the first common signs of pregnancy

But what about twin or multiple pregnancies. Are the symptoms the same as single pregnancy or something different? In this article, we're going to talk about the early signs of carrying twins. 

Signs of Carrying Twins

Signs And Symptoms of Twin Pregnancy

Many pregnant women report that they have a feeling that they're carrying twins even before they knew it for sure while some others said that the news of carrying twins came as a surprise for them. 

However, it's not possible to surely know whether you are pregnant with twins (or multiple babies) by simply gauging how you feel or what a home pregnancy test shows. An ultrasound scan is the only accurate way to confirm a twin or multiple pregnancies. 

Early Symptoms of Twin Pregnancy

Here are some of the symptoms that indicate you're carrying twins.

1. Intense Morning Sickness 

Morning Sickness caused due to the increase in pregnancy hormone Some pregnant women who're carrying twins or multiples report elevated levels of morning sickness. However, it's difficult to say anything on the basis of morning sickness as it varies from person to person as well as from pregnancy to pregnancy. For many expectant mothers, morning sickness begins as early as the 4th week of pregnancy right around the time when they missed their period.

However, experiencing severe or prolonged morning sickness also indicates a condition called Hyperemesis Gravidarum (An extreme form of morning sickness that causes severe nausea and vomiting and can lead to severe dehydration). So, it's best to consult your OB/GYN if you're experiencing such symptoms.

2. High HCG

HCG (Human Chorionic Gonadotropin) is often called a pregnancy hormone that is produced by the placenta and is detected in your urine or blood. HCG levels are at a peak during the first trimester then gradually decline during the rest of your pregnancy. A study shows women pregnant with twins or multiples may have higher than normal levels of HCG and for longer periods of time than a singleton pregnancy.

Higher than normal levels of HCG indicates that you're carrying twins but it can also be caused due to some other factors. That's why an ultrasound is required to confirm twin or multiple pregnancies.

3. Fatigue

Fatigue is an early sign of pregnancy due to which you may begin to feel exhausted during the first weeks or sometimes even before your missed period at 4 weeks. Women carrying twins or multiples may experience fatigue quite early, even before their pregnancy test turns positive. A large uterus, extra nutrition, excess weight gain, and energy are required to sustain a twin pregnancy and all these factors contribute to extreme fatigue. Although this is not a fact, simply an observation. 

4. Sore And Tender Breast

Pregnancy makes your breast sore and tender. It is one of the early signs that are often extreme if you're expecting twins or multiples. 

5. Increased Weight Gain

Women pregnant with twins or multiples are more likely to gain weight rapidly. However, if you're experiencing morning sickness or other issues during the first trimester of pregnancy then weight gain is likely to be relatively low. Pregnant women usually gain weight more rapidly around the second trimester of pregnancy regardless of whether they're expecting a single baby, twins, or multiples.

6. Higher Water Retention

If you're expecting twins then there is a higher level of water retention as well which can lead to more swelling in your ankles and joints. 

7. Frequent Urination

Expectant moms with twins are more likely to experience frequent urination due to the extra pressure on their bladder and rising levels of the HCG. In a twin pregnancy, HCG levels rise rapidly than those in singleton pregnancy hence the increased need to go to the washroom more often.

8. Food Intolerance

Some pregnant women carrying twins notices a strong food aversion to certain foods. However, it varies from person to person and pregnancy to pregnancy. Some pregnant women who're carrying single babies may also notice a strong aversion to certain foods while some expecting moms with twins may not experience such symptoms at all.

9. Second Heartbeat

A baby's heartbeat can be heard as early as 8 to 10 weeks of pregnancy by using a fetal doppler. If your doctor thinks that she heard a second heartbeat then she will likely schedule an ultrasound scan.

10. Bigger Belly

The size of the baby bump varies from pregnancy to pregnancy. If your bump seems bigger than expected during the first 12 weeks it might be possible that you're carrying twins. 

11. Early Fetal Movement

Some pregnant moms with twins experience fetal movement quite early and sometimes these movements are frequent too.

12. High AFP (Alpha-Fetoprotein)

AFP is a blood test that is performed during the second trimester of pregnancy. It is performed to diagnose birth defects in children and is also known as the Multiple Marker Screening Test or Maternal Serum Alpha-Protein (MSAFP). The result could be positive or unusually high in the case of twins or multiples. In such a case, the doctor will schedule an ultrasound scan for further tests.

13. Insomnia

Multiple factors such as discomfort, cramping, digestion issues, heartburn, acidity, breathlessness are some of the common factors that contribute to insomnia during pregnancy. Insomnia is common with singleton pregnancy too but in a twin pregnancy, a woman may experience it even more. 

14. Digestion Issues

Such issues are common with singleton pregnancy as well but pregnant women with twins are more prone to digestion issues as the uterus is larger and there is excess pressure on the digestive system.

15. Cramping

During initial pregnancy, when an embryo implants on the inner lining a woman may experience cramping like a menstrual cycle but in the case of twin pregnancy two embryos implant on the inner lining so the cramping will be slightly more as compared to a singleton pregnancy.


16. Larger Uterus

If your abdominal size is larger than expected during the time of menstrual cycles it might be possible that you're carrying twins. 

17. Shortness of Breath

In a twin pregnancy, the uterus size is larger and it occupies more space in the abdomen due to which abdominal organs may get compressed and displaced by the expanding uterus and can lead to shortness of breath. 

Breathlessness or shortness of breath is a common complication that a woman may experience in singleton pregnancy as well but a pregnant woman with twins may experience it slightly more.

18. Intuition

Some expectant moms just feel that it's a twin pregnancy. They have a gut feeling that they're having twins before they find out for sure.

Every pregnancy is different. Pregnant moms with twins may have stronger pregnancy symptoms due to the rapid increase in hormones. However, twin pregnancy will be confirmed by a transvaginal ultrasound scan by the 8th week of pregnancy

Pregnant women carrying twins may be asymptomatic initially or may have normal pregnancy signs and symptoms such as morning sickness, breast tenderness, vomiting, cramping, fatigue just like singleton pregnancy.

Ultrasound Scan

All the above signs may be a sign of twin or multiple pregnancies but an ultrasound scan is the only sure way to diagnose single, twins, or multiple pregnancies. An early ultrasound can be scheduled for around 6 to 10 weeks.

Early pregnancy signs can't tell you whether you're pregnant with twins or multiples. So, an ultrasound scan is the most reliable method to confirm twin or multiple pregnancies. 

If you're expecting and suspect that you're carrying twins then the above symptoms will help you to find out whether you're right or wrong. However, experiencing such symptoms is not the right way to surely know whether you're carrying twins or not. So, check with your doctor to confirm whether you're pregnant with twins.

Keeping yourself healthy is very essential whether you're carrying twins, multiples, or just one baby. Take a healthy and well-balanced diet and keep yourself hydrated. Do some gentle exercises and stay active. Talk to your doctor before performing any exercise during pregnancy to know which exercises are safe for you.

Make sure to attend all your antenatal appointments so that your doctor can keep a close eye on your pregnancy.

Frequently Asked Question (FAQs)

1. How early can you tell if you're having twins?

Your doctor may recommend an early ultrasound if she hears more than one heartbeat with the fetal doppler. An early ultrasound scan is usually done around six to ten weeks.

2. What are the earliest signs of twin pregnancy?

Some women pregnant with twins report that they experience extreme morning sickness, fatigue, digestion issues, heartburn, and other pregnancy symptoms. However, this can also happen in singleton pregnancy as well. So, experiencing early pregnancy symptoms doesn't necessarily mean you're pregnant with twins. 

Heartiest congratulations on your pregnancy. Here's wishing you a very happy, healthy, and safe pregnancy.

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Disclaimer: This content is intended for general information only and should not be used as the basis of patient treatment. The given content is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, treatment, or any diagnosis. Always consult a doctor for more information. Our website doesn't claim responsibility for this information.

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