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Early and Common Symptoms of Twin Pregnancy

What are the common twin pregnancy symptoms? Can one have early twin pregnancy symptoms? What about week by week symptoms of twin pregnancy? For women who come from families with twin pregnancies or are using fertility drugs, there is a high chance of conceiving twins.

Since most of them know this, the main task is telling apart symptoms of a singleton from those of twins. What are the symptoms of twin pregnancy? Is it possible to identify twin pregnancy symptoms week by week? Read on to find out about this and about early symptoms of twin pregnancies too.

Early and Common Symptoms of Twin Pregnancy
Early and Common Symptoms of Twin Pregnancy: Severe Morning Sickness.

Early Symptoms of Twin Pregnancy

It is possible to tell if one is carrying twins in the early days of the pregnancy. These are mostly the general pregnancy symptoms which are more intense than when one is carrying a singleton. The early symptoms of twin pregnancy include:

Excessive weight gain: The first trimester is not supposed to be characterized by an excessive weight gain. Most women do not start gaining weight until the second pregnancy sets in. However, if one is carrying twins, the above normal increase in blood volume and size of the uterus could cause a high weight gain. Gaining extra kilos in the first trimester may be an early sign that one is carrying twins.

Heart rate elevation: While carrying twins, an increased heart rate is one of the early and common symptoms of twin pregnancy. This is because the body has an increased volume of blood and has to do extra work to supply it to the twins.

Excessive cramping: Women who have had previous singleton pregnancies could notice that the intensity of cramping they are experiencing is excessive. Such symptoms of twin pregnancy can be attributed to the uterine membranes stretching more to make room to accommodate the two.

High human chorionic gonadotropin levels: The human chorionic gonadotropin hormone is known as the pregnancy hormone. It is usually tested in various prenatal checks trying to determine the earliest symptoms of twin pregnancy. The hormone is expected to double every three days in the 8th to 11th weeks. Any increase beyond this could indicate multiple births.

Severe morning sickness: The hormonal increase has a great effect on a woman’s body. Nausea and vomiting are experienced at heightened levels. Women carrying multiples are likely to lose a lot of weight in the first trimester as a result.

Fetal movement: Mothers carrying multiples are likely to feel the babies’ movement earlier than if they were carrying singletons. The movement is also likely to be more frequent.

High results of alphfetoprotein (AFP): An AFP test is usually carried out to test the protein level secreted by the fetus. Abnormally high levels will indicate that there is more than one fetus producing it. This test is commonly one of the best early symptom of twin pregnancy.

Twin Pregnancy Symptoms Week by Week

The weeks in a pregnancy are divided into three equal parts referred to as trimesters. These have distinct characteristics and can also be defined in terms of weeks. Each of the twin pregnancy symptoms week by week are unique to the respective trimester. Below we discuss twin pregnancy symptoms as they are progressively experienced week by week through the three trimesters.

First Trimester

This consists of the first 13 weeks of pregnancy which translate to slightly over three months. In this duration the normal signs of pregnancy will be felt albeit at a greater length. The high levels of human chorionic gonadotropin hormone may lead to extreme nausea. The woman may also have other symptoms occurring much earlier and being more severe.

While when one conceives a singleton it is possible to conceal it without trying too much, the same does not apply for multiples. One can start experiencing signs that show you are pregnant a few days into the pregnancy. This leads to excessive weight gain for this particular gestational period.

Excess Cramping is a Common Symptom of Twin Pregnancy
Excess Cramping is a Common Symptom of Twin Pregnancy.

In normal times, one can only confirm their pregnancy at around the fifth to sixth week, the first week having started on the first day of their last monthly period. With twins the signs start showing up earlier and this may motivate one to take a home pregnancy test which could turn positive earlier than the normal times.

Though it is recommended that one takes the results the first thing in the morning, doing so any other time while carrying multiples is likely to yield positive results. The reaction is bound to happen even earlier than the recommended time showing that there is more pregnancy hormones.

As early as six weeks, twins can be seen through an ultra sound.

Second Trimester

This is the middle trimester and lasts from the 14th week to the 27th week. For mothers carrying twins, this is the most enjoyable. The nausea is likely to have settled down and the abdominal size is yet to be a hindrance to her activities.

The woman gets more emotionally attached to the twins. The fetal movement can be felt already. An ultra sound is likely to visualize the babies. The body starts preparing for their arrival towards the end of this trimester.

Third Trimester:

This normally lasts from 28 to 40 weeks. The pregnancy takes up a large abdominal area. This could affect a woman’s balance as the size offsets the center of gravity. The fact that more hormones are released for the loosening of ligaments in readiness for birth could cause this too.

The fetal movement is most obvious at this stage. The limbs of the babies can be felt and seen against a woman’s abdominal ligaments. Fatigue and restlessness become common in the woman. A lot of rest is necessary to cope with the requirements of the body.

Twin pregnancies bring along heightened risks. In the earlier weeks, the possibility of a miscarriage is higher. The general risks such as pregnancy induced diabetes or hypertension are also higher. In the advanced weeks, the likelihood of pre-eclampsia and premature births to occur is also heightened.

Common Twin Pregnancy Symptoms

  • Early and obvious positive results: When people test early in the pregnancy they get a faint line. If it is distinctive and obvious despite being too early for a test, it is possible you are carrying twins.
  • Early weight gain: Compared to women expecting singletons, women with multiples will gain more kilos in their pregnancy, which makes for one of the quite sure common twin pregnancy symptoms.
  • Severe morning sickness and fatigue: This is caused by the rise in hormones. The fatigue comes from carrying too much weight and the body having to work double fold to sustain a healthy pregnancy.
  • Feeling fetal movement early in the pregnancy: The twins tend to be very active. One will feel their movement early in the pregnancy. The movement is also frequent.
  • Confirmation via an ultra sound: while all the above may only be suspicious twin pregnancy symptoms, an ultra sound confirms the presence of two babies in the womb.

More on Signs and Symptoms of Pregnancy:

See More on Ovulation, Conception & Early Signs of Pregnancy.

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