Twin Pregnancy Ultrasound

Submitted by Nick on January 18, 2012

The surest way to confirm whether you are expecting twins is to undergo an ultrasound. One can also get a blood test done to detect hCG levels in the blood stream. hCG is a hormone which is released in the body after conception takes place. A blood test may be carried out about 18 days after ovulation. In case of twin or multiple pregnancies, the hCG levels will be elevated. In a single pregnancy, hCG levels are generally about 70mIU. In a twin pregnancy, hCG levels may go up to about 200 mIU. This may not always be a foolproof method, but it is a good indicator. See also twin pregnancy week by week


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Twin Pregnancy Test

A twin pregnancy ultrasound is a popular way to determine if a woman is pregnant with twins. It is also a safe method. The ultrasound is also used as part of routine pregnancy care and is done throughout the 9 months of pregnancy.

An ultrasound will be able to detect the presence of twins in the first trimester itself. The accuracy of an ultrasound in detecting twins is fairly high. However, the accuracy may reduce if there are more than two babies developing. An ultrasound is usually done at around four weeks in case of women who undergo fertility treatments such as in vitro fertilization. This is because such fertility treatments cause the ovaries to release multiple eggs and there is a high chance that multiple fetuses may develop. An ultrasound is most reliable in detecting a twin pregnancy at around 6 to 8 weeks. However a twin pregnancy ultrasound at 5 weeks may also be effective. Also see twin pregnancy test

Twin pregnancy ultrasound frequency will be determined by the doctor. The gestational sac is usually seen at about 4 to 4 ½ weeks and the yolk sac is visible at 5 weeks. At about 5 ½ weeks, the embryo can be measured. A twin pregnancy ultrasound at 7 weeks allows for detection of the heart beat. At this time, an ultrasound can rule out complications such as missed abortions, ectopic pregnancies and molar pregnancies. Pregnancy ultrasound in late pregnancy is helpful in measuring abdominal circumference. Chromosomal abnormalities can be detected at about 20 weeks. Pregnancy ultrasound is essential in examining the content of amniotic fluid. An early twin pregnancy ultrasound also helps in detecting if the twins are identical. Babies that share a common placenta are known as identical twins.  This is sometimes visible on an ultrasound.

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