image001 One of the most asked questions by newly pregnant mothers is whether they are having twins. Not until it is confirmed that there is only one embryo, there is always the possibility of having twins. But when do you find out if you are having twins?

The chance of having twins increases for women who come from families where there is a history of twins, or have previously conceived twins or have had fertility assistance. Fertility assisted conception is known to increase the likelihood of having multiple births. For this reason, the issue is raised early in the pre-conception and consent assessment phases of the treatment.

When Do You Find Out If You Are Having Twins?

Years ago, women mostly found out they were having twins when in labor. However, these days such last minute surprises are rare. Today, it is possible to find out whether you are having twins through an ultrasound, often during the first trimester.

If you get pregnant as a result of fertility treatments such as gonadotrophins, clomid or IVF, you are required to have an ultrasound in the first eight weeks to count the number of embryos implanted. Ultrasound done after six to eight weeks is almost always foolproof of multiple pregnancies. Besides, doctors always encourage you to have an ultrasound in case they hear more than one heartbeat during your normal medical examination.

How to Find Out If You Are Having Twins




This method allows you to see whether you are having twins or not. If you suspect that you are having more than one baby, you should let your doctor know. It is unlikely that an ultrasound can miss an additional baby. However, the ultrasound may miss count in the case of more babies than two or in the case of hidden twins.

Doppler heartbeat count

A Doppler system uses harmless sound waves to amplify fetal heart beats which is possible after the first trimester. Your doctor or experienced midwife can detect multiple heart beats which indicate multiple pregnancies.

HCG levels

At times, the doctor can monitor the human chorionic gonadotropin levels. HCG is simply a hormone that can be traced in an expectant woman’s blood or urine as soon as ten days after conception. This hormone increases at a very fast rate. Twins mostly produce a higher level of HCG than single fetuses.

AFP test results

Alphafetoprotein (AFP) is a type of blood test mostly done on pregnant mothers in the 2nd trimester. It is also referred to as triple market screen or maternal serum screening and is used to detect increased risks of birth defects. Twin pregnancies mostly reveal positive or unusually high results. Your doctor will schedule an ultrasound to further assess your pregnancy.

Measuring large

All through your pregnancy, your doctor measures the urine fundus height as a way of indicating the gestational age. Multiple pregnancies at times force the mother’s uterus to expand beyond normal single pregnancy ranges. Even so, there are other factors that may cause an enlargement.

Early fetal movement

Moms expecting twins experience more frequent and even early fetal movements. However, this is not a conclusive method as it is possible to experience early or frequent movement even in single fetus pregnancies.


If a family of either of the parent has had a history of bearing twins, this may be an indicator of the likelihood to have twins.

Interested in learning more about how you can tell whether you are pregnant with twins? Watch this video

What Are Twin Pregnancy Symptoms?




While this is common with most, if not all pregnancies, feeling nauseated from early in the pregnancy may indicate multiple fetuses.

Food intolerance

Extreme intolerance to smell, textures and appearance of some foods. Most commonly tea, coffee and seafood.

Large uterus

A larger than normal uterus may indicate more than one fetus.

Extreme tenderness of the breasts

This can cause discomfort when wearing a bra. This may cause one to find alternatives to wearing bras until the breasts feel more comfortable.

Need to pass urine more frequently

While the need to pass urine is common in pregnancies, this is elevated by multiple pregnancies.


While common in almost all pregnancies, it is exaggerated in multiple pregnancies.

Uterine cramping

Some women experience more cramping around the uterus, which is not accompanied by blood loss. This can be caused by round ligament pain as a result of rapid expansion of the uterus, which can indicate multiple embryos.

Increased heart rate

This is caused by the fact that your heart has to work harder to pump more oxygenated blood to the uterus.

More Tips on Twin Pregnancy

There are a few factors you need to remember when expecting twins.

  • It is essential for you to attend ante-natal clinic with a qualified medical practitioner on a regular basis.
  • It may be ideal for you to seek the help of a qualified dietician to learn how you can ensure you meet your body’s daily nutritional needs.
  • It is ideal to seize every moment you can to rest. It takes a lot of energy to carry twins the whole nine months.
  • Consider having more ultrasounds to continually check on the status of the pregnancy.
  • Different insurance companies offer different policies for single births and twins. It is advisable to find out what you are covered for or you can consider accessing the public health system. It can be expensive in the case of a premature baby. Find out what options you have in terms of medical insurance cover to plan ahead in case of any eventualities.
  • Plan for an earlier than scheduled delivery since this is common with twins. It is best to be well prepared.