Recognizing Twin Pregnancy: Signs to Handling
Having a pregnancy with more than one fetus requires special attention. Find out various things about twin pregnancies, from the signs to the risk of complications that might occur in the following article.
Getting to Know Twin Pregnancy
Twin pregnancy means that you have two fetuses in the uterus at the same time. This case is rare and generally appears due to family history, pregnancy program, and other factors.
One in three twin pregnancies are generally identical twins, while two in three other twin pregnancies are non-identical twins.
Identical twins or monozygotic twins occur when one egg (zygote) is fertilized by one sperm and then divides into two different embryos.
Both of these embryos will develop in the same uterus. Identical twins can share the same or different placentas.
Identical twins are usually of the same sex. So, if your fetuses are identical, you will have two boys or two girls.
Non Identical Twins
Non-identical twins or dizygotic twins occur when two eggs attached to the uterine wall are fertilized by two sperm at the same time.
Every month, women will release an egg or known as ovulation. Although it usually releases only one egg, sometimes it can release more than one mature egg.
Twins of this type may have different faces and may have different sexes. These two fetuses also develop in two different placentas.
Also Read: 10 Safe Ways to Overcome Stretch Marks during Pregnancy
Signs of Pregnant Twins
The following are signs that may appear in twin pregnancies, including:
- The fetus moves earlier than the expected gestational age.
- Feel the movement of the fetus in two different areas.
- Weight gain.
- Increased appetite.
- Experience morning sickness which is worse.
In general, twin pregnancies will be detected at 12 weeks of gestation. At this age, you can tell if the fetus has the same placenta (which means identical twins) or has different placentas.
Causes of Twin Pregnancy
Sometimes, twin pregnancies just happen. However, it is known that there are several factors that can increase the chances of conceiving twins, including:
- Age: Women aged 35 and over are more likely to release more than one egg at ovulation
- Family history: If your mother’s family has a history of twins, then there is a possibility that you can have twins naturally.
- pregnancy programme: Twin pregnancies are more common in people undergoing pregnancy programs such as IVF.
- Obesity: Women with a body mass index of over 30 are more likely to conceive twins.
- Personal history: If you have been pregnant with twins in a previous pregnancy, then there is a possibility that you will get pregnant with twins again in a subsequent pregnancy.
Twin Pregnancy Diagnosis
Ultrasonic examination (USG) can generally establish the diagnosis of twin pregnancies. However, the examination is not perfect. In rare cases, doctors cannot see the second fetus, especially in the early stages of pregnancy.
Blood tests can also help diagnose twin pregnancies. The amount of HCG hormone at the beginning of your pregnancy that contains twins can be higher than that of pregnant women who do not contain twins.
Ultrasound in the second trimester can usually determine the sex of the fetus, but this may be done if the position of the fetus can reveal the genital area.
Risk of Complications in Twin Pregnancy
The following are some of the risks compilations you need to watch out for, including:
1. Premature Birth
More than half of twins are born prematurely, which means earlier than 37 weeks of gestation. This is a common complication in twin pregnancies.
The fetus will grow bigger and will need more space. Twin pregnancies will make the space to grow less and less.
If you show signs of giving birth at a premature gestational age, the doctor will give you steroid injections to speed up the development of the fetal lungs.
2. Gestational Diabetes
If you are pregnant with twins, the risk of developing gestational diabetes will also increase. This condition will cause high blood sugar in the mother.
High blood sugar can have an impact on pregnancy and the health of the fetus in the womb. You can consult with a nutritionist to help keep blood sugar normal during pregnancy.
This condition causes a sudden increase in blood pressure in pregnant women. Preeclampsia is a medical emergency and you may need to deliver your baby early.
4. Twin Transfusions
In identical twins, it can happen that one fetus receives too much blood and the other fetus receives too little blood.
This condition can occur because the fetus is in the same placenta. This complication is serious and both fetuses need special handling while in the womb.
5. Fetal Death in the Womb
Sometimes, one fetus can die in the womb while the other survives.
Also Read: 10 Ways to Take Care of Twins So You Are Not Overwhelmed
Treatment During Twin Pregnancy
There are some differences to be aware of when you are pregnant with twins. If you experience it, you need:
- More frequent visits to the obstetrician.
- Do ultrasound more often to see the position of the fetus.
- Eat more calories to meet the needs of the fetus.
- Adopt a healthier lifestyle to reduce the risk of complications, such as a special diet and exercise.
- Do exercises that strengthen your core muscles to carry more weight.
The doctor will provide the best diet and type of exercise according to your condition.
Starting from the second trimester, you will undergo an ultrasound examination once every 4-6 weeks. If there are special health conditions, these examinations can take place more frequently and pregnant women may undergo several examinations.
Twin pregnancies can be both exciting and tiring at the same time. It is important to always pay attention to your health and that of the fetus in the womb so that all can be born healthy and safe.
- Anonymous. 2022. Pregnant with Twins. https://www.nhs.uk/pregnancy/finding-out/pregnant-with-twins/. (Accessed December 30, 2022)
- Anonymous. 2022. Twin Pregnancy. https://my.clevelandclinic.org/health/articles/23158-twin-pregnancy. (Accessed December 30, 2022).
- Anonymous. 2022. Twin Pregnancy: What Twins Or Multiples Mean For Mom. https://www.mayoclinic.org/healthy-lifestyle/pregnancy-week-by-week/in-depth/twin-pregnancy/art-20048161. (Accessed December 30, 2022).
- Villalines, Zawn. 2021. Twin Pregnancies: What to Know. https://www.medicalnewstoday.com/articles/twin-pregnancies. (Accessed December 30, 2022).
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