I just learned that I am pregnant and have always hoped that I would have twins. How early can my doctor tell if I have twins?
If you didn't use fertility drugs and don't have a strong family history of twins, you have about a one in 80 chance of this being a twin pregnancy. The simplest way to check for twins is with an ultrasound, which can see two sacs as early as six weeks of gestation (which is four weeks after conception). Many moms who are carrying twins note more severe pregnancy symptoms such as breast soreness, nausea and vomiting, and fatigue, although those symptoms are common enough they can't readily be used to diagnose twins. By 12 weeks, the uterus usually seems bigger than expected on examination, and two heartbeats can be sometimes be heard.
Ah, but be careful what you wish for! While twins have some amazing characteristics, from the specialness of being part of a pair to the striking similarities of the identical, twin pregnancies actually pose significant risk to babies and to Mom. Preterm birth, high blood pressure, gestational diabetes, and hyperemesis are just four of the complications more common with multiples. But while the odds of serious problems are worse than for singletons, most twins do well, and that special relationship can bring lots of joy to a family.