How is a multiple pregnancy diagnosed?
Higher than expected blood pregnancy test levels (HCG) early in pregnancy can suggest a multiple gestation, but the only way to confidently diagnose multiple gestations is with an ultrasound exam. Transvaginal sonography, as early as 6 weeks gestation, is used to diagnose multiple gestations. Sometimes, as a pregnancy progresses, fetuses may be missed in higher order multiples. Some quadruplet or quintuplet remain undiagnosed and are first found at the time of delivery because latter ultrasound exams create optical illusions making imaging more difficult.
Answer courtesy of Victor Klein, MD Perinatologist, Great Neck OB/GYN.
Symptoms of multiple pregnancy may include:
Tests used to diagnose a multiple pregnancy include:
Resources for expectant parents of multiples are available on the Expecting Multiples MOST by the Stages web page.
MOST also offers our book Expecting Multiples: A Comprehensive Guide covering a variety of topics related to pregnancy and delivery of higher-order multiples.
Copyright MOST 2005 Updated 1/18/10