There are some signs of pregnancy that may make you wonder if you are carrying twins or multiples. Your odds of conceiving twins increase due to certain factors such as your family history, height, weight, body type, ethnicity, and your dietary choices.
To rule out your sneaking suspicion, you can take this 12-question free twin pregnancy quiz to find your chances of having doubles.
Although women expecting multiples experience similar symptoms as those carrying a single baby, there are some indications, which you may not miss (1).
i. Blood test results may vary: hCG hormonal levels are higher in your early blood test, indicating you could be carrying more than one baby. However, this is not definitive because sometimes even singleton pregnancies may show a spike in hormonal levels.
ii. Exaggerated pregnancy symptoms: If you are pregnant with twins, you will experience more severe symptoms related to hormonal elevations. You may have more severe nausea and vomiting than those carrying a single baby.
Women carrying twins will have extreme morning sickness known as hyperemesis gravidarum. The condition is so severe that you may require intravenous injections and other medical assistance.
iii. Bigger bump: Though the increased size and weight cannot be a definitive measure of twin pregnancy, most twin mothers have quickly growing bellies earlier in the pregnancy.
Identical twins are monozygotic twins, and are formed when a single fertilized egg (ovum) splits and develops into two babies. They share the same genetic information and look alike. Fraternal twins are dizygotic twins, and are formed when two separate eggs (ova) are fertilized by two separate sperms. They do not share the same genes nor look alike.
You will have increased chances of fraternal twins if you yourself have a twin or if you have siblings who are twins. Your chances increase with your increasing age and body mass index, number of children, and your height.
Identical twins are random irrespective of heredity, maternal age, number of births, etc. The chances of conceiving identical twins will be around one in every 285 pregnancies (2). One in three sets of twins is identical (3).
No, identical twins will not have identical fingerprints although their genes have similar patterns. From the very early weeks of pregnancy, when a baby is developing fingerprints, there would be minor differences in the intrauterine environment to give each twin baby different fingerprints.
The symptoms mentioned above may indicate twin pregnancy, but an ultrasound can confirm it. An ultrasound scan can detect twins as early as six to seven weeks of your pregnancy.
Before you go for an ultrasound, you may take up this quiz. The questions in the quiz are based on the common signs of multiple pregnancies and can help you determine if you are carrying twins or multiples. If your score is above a certain probability, there is a chance of twins.
Yes, it is possible to miscarry one fetus and remain pregnant with the other, resulting in a successful pregnancy. Moreover, the abortion of one fetus does not create or increase the risk for the other baby.
Polar body twins develop when an unfertilized ovum splits into unequal parts, and each part fertilizes by two different sperms. Usually, at the end of ovulation, the developing egg splits into two unequal cells with the same number of chromosomes. The bigger cell is called egg while the smaller cell is called the polar body. In most cases, the polar body degenerates and dies. However, in rare cases, the polar body is also fertilized by a sperm the same time when the egg is fertilized by another sperm. It, therefore, results in twins who share 75% of their genes (from the mother) and differ in the remaining 25% (due to two different sperms from the father) (4).
The precautions you need to take in pregnancy are the same irrespective of the number of babies you carry. They include:
• Eat balanced diet
• Do gentle exercises
• Drink enough fluids
• Go for regular antenatal appointments
• Take rest
• Avoid lifting weights
• Avoid travel and mental stress
Disclaimer: However, do remember that this quiz does not give 100% accurate result on your twin pregnancy. If your answers indicate there is a high chance of having twins, you should see your healthcare provider to confirm that.