The Hcg Levels That Mean Youre Having Twins
According to several studies, women pregnant with twins may have a higher level of hCG baseline levels compared to the normal level of hCG in a singleton pregnancy. hCG is the hormone that alerts your body that youre pregnant. hCG levels are highest during early pregnancy and gradually decline as the pregnancy progresses to term. hCG will be at its highest level when an embryo implants into the uterus.
hCG typically reaches 90,000-100,000 mIU/mL for a singleton pregnancy. Your doctor will be paying closer attention to trends instead of numbers due to the fact that theres a wide range of normal hCG levels. As long as hCG rises as expected, your doctor will consider your pregnancy as healthy.
Here is a chart of standard hCG levels for a singleton pregnancy. If your levels are on the higher end of the standard hCG range, this could be a clue that youre having twins.
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Is Labor And Delivery Significantly Different With Twins
Laboris generally the same whether youre having one baby or two. Duringdelivery is when things differ significantly.
When its time to deliver your twins, you will go to an operating room evenif you are delivering vaginally. This is a safety precaution known as adouble setup. Following the vaginal delivery of the first baby, there is asmall risk of an emergency cesarean section for the second baby. There is also thepossibility of the second twin being delivered breech, which is a safe formof vaginal delivery if the obstetrician is experienced in this type ofdelivery.
Of women giving birth to twins over 32 weeks, only about 4 percent who tryfor a vaginal delivery will have a combined vaginal and cesarean section delivery.While it doesnt happen very often, by delivering both babies in theoperating room, physicians are better prepared to protect the health of themother and the babies.
Although being pregnant with twins can seem very different, your doctorwill treat your pregnancy like any other unless a complication occurs.
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Frequently Asked Questionsexpand All
Having multiples might increase your risk of postpartum depression. If you have intense feelings of sadness, anxiety, or despair that keep you from being able to do your daily tasks, talk with your ob-gyn or other member of your health care team.
Yes, but it may take some practice. Your milk supply will increase to the right amount. You will need to eat healthy foods and drink plenty of liquids. Lactation specialists are available at many hospitals and in your community to help you work out any problems you may have.
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Can Boy/girl Twins Be Identical
Boy/girl twins are always fraternal or , rather than identical. They can only form from two separate eggs that are fertilized by two separate sperm. The terms identical and fraternal don’t describe what the twins look like, but actually how they form.
Identical twins are always of the same sex because they form from a single zygote that contains either male or female sex chromosomes.
Fraternal twins can be either two girls, two boys, or one of each. These are the possible sex combinations:
- A set of boy/girl twins: Can only be fraternal , as boy/girl twins cannot be identical
- Two boy twins: Can be either identical or fraternal
- Two girl twins: Can be either identical or fraternal
Note that the “mono” in monozygotic means one, while “di” in dizygotic means two, as in deriving from one or two zygotes .
How To Have Twins
Having a predisposition for a twin pregnancy is a scientifically valid phenomenon, but intentionally trying to improve your odds of conceiving twins? Not a good idea, experts says. Alice Domar, MD, director of integrative care at Boston IVF, tells me she has a conversation every day with someone who says they want twins, often because they already have fertility issues and because IVF is expensive or because they are older and want an insta-family. But she urges them to look at the risks. A twin pregnancy is a higher-risk pregnancy, she says. This includes increased chances of gestational diabetes and pregnancy-induced hypertension. In addition, more than half of twin births in the US are preterm, notes the March of Dimes. Stanford Childrens Health also notes that about 10 percent of twins have very low birth weight . So while you might get a 2-for-1 from an IVF standpoint, your copay for the NICU stay may more than make up for it.
Still, I can attest that, with twins, the joy at every stage of parenting is doubled, and, if youre hoping to beat the odds, I get it. However, the smartest tips for how to have twins are those that simply enhance your fertility. So take a look, below, at what might improve your chances of becoming pregnantand who knows, maybe youll have twins.
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Risks To Mother And Baby In Multiple Pregnancy Higher
Twin pregnancies are associated with more frequent complications for both the mother and the babies. The mother might experience severe morning sickness that is persistent, diabetes in pregnancy, high blood pressure, or early onset of labour due to waters breaking prematurely giving rise to preterm delivery of babies. For the babies, the increased risks are due to being born prematurely or due to complications due to a shared placenta or blood vessels and due to uterine restriction.
Does Family History Increase Your Chances Of Having Twins
If both you and your partner have a history of multiples in the family, your chances of conceiving twins is higher. This is especially true for women who have fraternal twins in their family. Thats because theyre more likely to have inherited the gene that makes them release more than one egg at a time.
According to The American Society for Reproductive Medicine, women who are fraternal twins themselves have a 1 in 60 chance of having their own twins. Men who are fraternal twins have a 1 in 125 chance of fathering twins.
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Risk Factors For Multiple Pregnancy
Naturally, twins occur in about one in 250 pregnancies, triplets in about one in 10,000 pregnancies, and quadruplets in about one in 700,000 pregnancies. The main factor that increases your chances of having a multiple pregnancy is the use of infertility treatment, but there are other factors.
Your race, age, heredity, or history of prior pregnancy does not increase your chance of having identical twins but does increase your chance of having fraternal twins. Infertility treatment increases your risk of having twins, both identical and fraternal.
Race. The overall rate of twins for all races in the United Statees is around 33 per 1,000 live births. Black and non-Hispanic white women have similar rates of twinning, while Hispanic women are less likely.
Heredity. The mothers family history may be more significant than the fathers. Non-identical twin women give birth to twins at the rate of 1 set per 60 births. However, non-identical male twins father twins at a rate of 1 set per 125 births.
Maternal age and prior pregnancy history. The frequency of twins increases with maternal age and number of pregnancies. Women between 35 to 40 years of age with 4 or more children are 3 times more likely to have twins than a woman under 20 without children.
Approximately 30% of pregnancies resulting from gonadotropins are multiples. While most of these pregnancies are twins, up to 5% are triplets or greater due to the release of more eggs than expected.
The Likelihood Of Having Twins
Some women are more likely than others to give birth to twins. The factors that increase the likelihood include the following:
- age of the mother women in their 30s and 40s have higher levels of the sex hormone oestrogen than younger women, which means that their ovaries are stimulated to produce more than one egg at a time
- number of previous pregnancies the greater the number of pregnancies a woman has already had, the higher her likelihood of conceiving twins
- heredity a woman is more likely to conceive fraternal twins if she is a fraternal twin, has already had fraternal twins, or has siblings who are fraternal twins
- race black African women have the highest incidence of twins, while Asian women have the lowest
- assisted reproductive techniques many procedures rely on stimulating the ovaries with fertility drugs to produce eggs, which can result in several eggs being released per ovulation
- IVF multiple embryos are often transferred to the womans uterus to increase the chance of success.
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Gut Feelings And Hunches
While the other items in this list refer to some kind of visible evidenceexaggerated symptoms, abnormal test results, increased morning sickness and morewe can’t disregard the power of a mother’s intuition.
Whether mothers-to-be have dreams of twins or a hunch they can’t explain, those who have cared for pregnant women quickly learn to listen. Some of the best “hints” indicating a multiple pregnancy aren’t easily explained in medical textbooks.
If you simply have a “gut feeling” that you may be carrying multiples, listen to your body and talk to your doctor about these feelings.
What Are The Facts And Myths Of Having Twins
Whether you are trying to conceive twins or merely exploring the possibility, you will come across several facts and fictions. Some of them are listed below:
- Therapies such as aromatherapy, acupuncture, flower essences naturopathy or even chiropractic procedures do not increase the chances of having twins.
- While genetics play an important role when it comes to conceiving twins, the finding that they alternate or skip generations is only a myth.
- While eating proteins and dairy products accelerate ovulation, they do not guarantee conceiving twins.
- Though age and weight can make a huge difference, it may not be the only deciding factor when it comes to conceiving twins.
While getting pregnant with twins can prove to be quite challenging, you can surely attempt the above-mentioned methods if you have your heart set on having twins.
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How Twin Conception Happens
If you want to understand your chances of getting pregnant with twins, its important to know how they are conceived.
There are two different types of twins:
- Identical: Identical twins occur when one egg is fertilized by one sperm. The egg then divides into two separate embryos. Identical twins might share a placenta and an amniotic sac, or they might share a placenta and each have separate amniotic sacs. Genetically, the two babies are identical.
- Non-identical: Non-identical, or fraternal, twins occur when two separate eggs are fertilized by two separate sperm. Non-identical twins have their own placenta and their own unique genetic composition.
How Are Twins Conceived
Before getting into the steps, lets understand the processes behind the formation of twin babies. Twins are of 2 types.
Identical or Monozygotic or Non-fraternal Twins developed when one sperm fertilizes one egg. Later it will split into two separate embryos. Both these embryos have the same genetic structures. And, they share the placenta.
Non-identical or Dizygotic or Fraternal Twins developed when two separate sperms fertilize two separate eggs. Both of them are unique in their own way, no identical genetic structures other than their own siblings. Also, each one has its own placenta.
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First Healthcare Providers Visit
Prenatal care is critical during pregnancy. If you conceive naturally, your first OB visit usually happens toward the end of your first trimester. If you conceive through IVF, you may see your healthcare provider sooner. Either way, the first major checkup usually happens toward the end of the first trimester , even if you have seen your healthcare provider sooner than this. This visit may be when you learn that you are having twins.
During this appointment, your healthcare provider will review your health history, perform physical and pelvic exams, and give an overview for treatment during your pregnancy. Preparing a list of questions to ask your healthcare provider will help you remember them.
Most women will also get the first ultrasound of their fetuses to check their heartbeats and anatomy. Your healthcare provider will run other tests to check for genetic abnormalities in the babies through bloodwork. Sometimes you may be offered a blood test that will reveal the gender of the fetuses. Your healthcare provider will calculate how many weeks pregnant you are and set a due date for the babies.
After the first visit, the standard schedule to see your OB-GYN is:
- Every four weeks until 28 weeks
- Every two to three weeks from 28 to 36 weeks
- Weekly from 36 weeks until delivery
You may need to see your OB-GYN more frequently than the standard schedule.
How You Get Pregnant With Twins: 5 Factors That Increase The Odds Of Getting Pregnant With Twins
Twins have fascinated the world for ages. They are even present in various myths and religions around the globe. Identical twins are also important in science, especially because they can answer many questions scientists have about nature vs. nurture. Here are the overall odds of getting pregnant with twins, plus factors that could increase the likelihood.
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Can Twins Have Different Fathers
Heteropaternal superfecundation and heteropaternal superfetation are both extremely rare events. Despite this, they have both been documented in medical records. Both of these processes result in fraternal, or dizygotic, twins, since identical twins can only come from a single fertilized egg.
Superfecundation or superfetation can both occur naturally, but they can also be the result of certain fertility treatments. In one recorded case, there was an error in an in vitro fertilization lab. Equipment that was contaminated with sperm from one man was used again before being cleaned.
The woman receiving the IVF treatment ended up having twins from different fathers. In theory, IVF could lead to a multiple pregnancy, even if a woman isnt trying to get pregnant with twins!
In some cases, a woman might already have a fertilized egg or embryo implanted in her uterus when she spontaneously ovulates again. If she has sex while the second egg is viable, the phenomenon known as superfetation can occur. The resulting twins might have the same dad, or they could be twins with different fathers.
But, how do these processes really work?
Options For Giving Birth
In Australia, you can choose to give birth in a public hospital, a private hospital, at a birth centre or at home, although home birth for twins is rare because of the higher risk of complications. You may find this decision overwhelming, so start talking about it to your midwife or doctor early in your pregnancy.
You may think that caesarean section is the only option, but talk to your midwife or doctor about whether vaginal birth is possible. Even if you try for a vaginal birth, you might eventually need to have a caesarean section, as with any other pregnancy.
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No 1: Cesarean Section Deliveries May Be More Common In Twin Pregnancies
“The likelihood of having a C-section is absolutely higher in twin pregnancies,” he says. “There is also a higher incidence of the baby being in breech position among twins than singletons.” When the baby is in a breech position, a C-section delivery is usually required.
Abdulla Al-Khan, MD, director and chief of maternal and fetal medicine and surgery, Hackensack University Medical Center, New Jersey.
Manju Monga, MD, Berel Held Professor and division director, maternal-fetal medicine director, maternal fetal medicine fellowship, University of Texas Health Sciences Center, Houston.
Mayo Clinic web site: “Twin pregnancy: What multiples mean for mom.”
Institute of Medicine: “Weight Gain During Pregnancy: Reexamining the Guidelines.”
Bigger Belly Than Usual
Many women wonder, when do you start showing with a twin pregnancy? Well, it depends on so many factors but, in general, earlier than a singleton pregnancy!
Looking bigger than expected for gestational age is a possible sign of twin pregnancy, but keep in mind that many women show much earlier in subsequent pregnancies than their first.
Measuring the fundal height may be a more reliable identifier for possible twins.
Midwives and doctors measure the fundal height starting at about 12 weeks of pregnancy to see that baby is growing normally. When the fundal height is larger than expected, it could mean that youve got twins!
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Do Twins Share A Placenta And An Amniotic Sac
While some twins may share a placenta and an amniotic sac, that is not thecase for the vast majority of pregnancies. Here are three majorpossibilities that exist: