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    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

    • Greater appetite

    • 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?

    Illustration of a transabdominal ultrasound procedure
    Click Image to Enlarge

    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, FNP
    Online Medical Reviewer: Sacks, Daniel, MD, FACOG
    Date Last Reviewed: 6/1/2018
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