How to Tell if You're Pregnant With Twins

Two for One

Maybe twins run in your family, but no matter the reason, during early pregnancy many women find themselves wondering if they are having twins. About three in every 100 women in the United States give birth to twins, so it's always a possibility. Although there are quite a few physical symptoms that can indicate a twin pregnancy, the only way to know for sure that you're expecting multiples is to have an ultrasound. Doctors are usually able to identify twins during the dating ultrasound, which is done when you are between 10 and 13 weeks along in your pregnancy.

Pregnancy Symptoms

Couple hands on pregnant belly

Symptoms of Being 4 Weeks Pregnant With Twins

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Many pregnancy symptoms can indicate that you might be carrying twins, although most of the signs are inexact. The symptoms of twins are often similar to the symptoms with a single pregnancy, but described as stronger or more intense. Women who are carrying twins can also have higher hCG (human chorionic gonadotropin) levels than women carrying singletons, and they sometimes report severe morning sickness or fatigue during early pregnancy. Many women who are carrying twins measure large for the baby's gestational age or get bigger more quickly than they would with a singleton pregnancy. Some mothers report feeling their babies start to move sooner than women carrying single babies, although this is more likely due to the fact that women tend to feel movement earlier in subsequent pregnancies than during a first pregnancy.

Ultrasound Time

Medically, the only way to confirm that you're carrying more than one baby is with an ultrasound. An ultrasound lets the doctor peek inside to see what's going on. The first ultrasound is typically scheduled at 10 to 13 weeks of gestation. This is often called the dating scan, because doctors use it to confirm your due date. It is also used to check on the baby's heartbeat and confirm that everything is going well. If people keep commenting that you are getting big quickly or you have other reasons to suspect that you may be carrying twins, the dating scan is when you will know for sure.

Multiple Outcomes

The First Signs of a Twin Pregnancy

The First Signs of a Twin Pregnancy

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In general, twin pregnancies are safe, but the risk of complications is increased when there is more than one baby involved. Women who are pregnant with twins tend to undergo more ultrasounds so the doctor can monitor the growth of both babies. Twins are also more likely to be born before 36 weeks' gestation, which can cause complications. Because there is more than one baby involved, positioning for birth can be more difficult, so twins are more likely to be delivered by C-section. If you're wondering if you are pregnant with twins, the dating ultrasound is the best way to know for sure. If the doctor finds two little heartbeats, then you know for sure that your life is about to get two times more interesting.