Symptoms and Diagnosis of Multiple Pregnancy
What are the symptoms of multiple pregnancy?
Each woman may have slightly different symptoms. But the most common symptoms of multiple pregnancy are:
Uterus is larger than expected for the dates in pregnancy
More morning sickness
Too much weight gain, especially in early pregnancy
Fetal movements felt in different parts of the stomach at the same time
How is multiple pregnancy diagnosed?
Many women suspect they are pregnant with more than 1 baby. The healthcare provider may diagnose multiple fetuses early in pregnancy. This is especially true if fertility treatments were used. The provider may make the diagnosis with a health history, physical exam, and the following tests:
Pregnancy blood testing. Levels of human chorionic gonadotropin (hCG) may be quite high with multiple pregnancy.
Alpha-fetoprotein. Levels of a protein released by the fetal liver and found in the mother's blood may be high when more than 1 fetus is making the protein.
Ultrasound. This is an imaging test that uses high-frequency sound waves to create images of blood vessels, tissues, and organs. Ultrasounds can be done with a vaginal transducer, especially in early pregnancy. Or they can be done with an abdominal transducer in later pregnancy.
Online Medical Reviewer: Freeborn, Donna, PhD, CNM, FNPSacks, Daniel, MD, FACOG
Date Last Reviewed: 6/1/2018
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