When Will I be Able to Tell if I’m Having Twins?

Many pregnant women, who either have a family history of twin or multiple pregnancies, or who hve been undergoing fertility treatments or using fertility medications, may be anxious to find out if they are going to have twins.  With the rise in fertility treatments, twin and multiple pregnancies are becoming more and more common.  There are several ways in early pregnancy to tell if you are having twins.

The most reliable way to tell if you are having twins is to see twins on an ultrasound.  In fact, an ultrasound is the only guaranteed way to be certain that you are going to have more than one baby.  An ultrasound can sometimes detect the presence of multiple embryos as early as the third week of pregnancy.  Still, an ultrasound becomes the most reliable at being able to tell if you are having twins at around 6 to 8 weeks of pregnancy.

Another way to tell if you are having twins is using Doppler testing.  While it is not nearly as reliable as an ultrasound, a Doppler test can detect 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.  If your health care provider hears multiple heartbeats in a Doppler test, she may wish to do an ultrasound to confirm if you are having twins.

If you are having twins, you may 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.  However, this protein is typically not measurable until several weeks into pregnancy, and other things can also cause high levels of AFP.

There are some other signs that, while not proven, many women who are having twins have experienced.  These include excessive morning sickness, early fetal movement, extreme fatigue, and even mother’s intuition.



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