Multiple Pregnancy: Twins or More (cont.)
IN THIS ARTICLE
Exams and Tests
Most multiple pregnancies are now identified during the first or second trimester.
A fetal ultrasound can show whether there is more than one fetus in the uterus. If you have more than one fetus, you will have an ultrasound several times during the pregnancy to monitor fetal growth and amniotic fluid.
Sometimes the first sign of a multiple pregnancy is from a test that was done for another reason. For example, a very high level of human chorionic gonadotropin (hCG), the "pregnancy test" hormone, can be a sign of multiple pregnancy.
Tests used during a multiple pregnancy
Tests used to check for birth defects
Fetuses in multiple pregnancies have an increased risk of genetic disorders and birth defects.
There are two types of birth defects tests: screening and diagnostic.
Screening tests show the chance that a baby has a certain birth defect. But they can't tell you for sure that your baby has a problem. Some of the available screening tests for birth defects are not as accurate when used for women carrying more than one baby. Talk to your doctor about your options for screening tests.
Diagnostic tests show if a baby has a certain birth defect. Diagnostic test options may include:
CVS and amniocentesis have the same slight miscarriage risk when used to test a multiple pregnancy. You may want earlier CVS results if you have to make decisions about treating or continuing a pregnancy.
For more information, see the topic Birth Defects Testing.
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