How and when are multiple gestation pregnancies diagnosed?

Dr. David McKenna explains how multiple gestation pregnancies are diagnosed. Click play to watch the video or read the transcript.

How and when are multiple gestation pregnancies diagnosed?

Well ideally, multiple pregnancies are diagnosed early on in the pregnancy, during the first trimester by ultrasound. In the past we used to diagnose these by clinical methods, when a mom was measuring bigger than the expected gestational age. But that's no longer sufficient. We now know that there's multiple variations in the number of placentas and the number of gestational sacs around the baby. And the only time you could accurately diagnose that is in the first trimester, preferably before 12 or 13 weeks gestation.

 

Ultrasound scans, which use sound waves to create medical images, are a reliable way to diagnose a multiple gestation, according to the American Congress of Obstetricians and GynecologistsOff Site Icon.

Certain symptoms may accompany a multiple gestation, according to the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services Office on Women’s HealthOff Site Icon (HHS). Some women experience rapid weight gain, have pronounced nausea, or feel increased tenderness in their breasts, according to HHS.

Diagnosing multiple gestations is one reason why it is important for women to have a first trimester ultrasound.

Learn more: