Multiple Birth Pregnancies

6 March 2014
Multiple Birth

Throughout the human history, multiple pregnancies (multiple birth) aroused interest and mentioned in many legends. Multiple pregnancies (twins, triplets, quadruplets etc) used to be fairly uncommon. However, with the advent of IVF treatment, multiple pregnancies are becoming more commonplace.

Multiple Pregnancies (Multiple Birth) – Being pregnant with twins, triplets and more

Generally, it occurs as a consequence of many egg cell (oocyte) fertilized with same number of sprems. In this case, there are many genetically differentiated embryos. Two-thirds of these multiple pregnancies are inthis manner. Colloquially, this is called dizygotic twins (Polyzygotic or non-identical).

Sometimes a fertilized egg may be fissionable during development and a couple of embryos having same genetic characteristics may occur. This rare multiple pregnancy form (one-third) called as maternal twin (monozygotic or identical).

Approximately 1% of pregnancies are multiple pregnancies. As well as being a lovely surprise, a multiple pregnancy does carry added risks and as such should be closely monitored.

Factors increasing multiple pregnancy possibility;

  • twin pregnancy in family,
  • aging of female (i.e.; seen twice above age of 35),
  • social matters (i.e.; 5 times more in African societies),
  • number of births (possibility of twin preganncy become twice after 4.birth), and
  • multiple ovulation with ovulation induction medicine; multiple pregnancy seen at average of 20% (i.e.; Klomifen 6-7%, GnRH: 17.2%, HMG: 25-30%)


When a gyneacologist encounters with a multiple pregnancy, firstly he/she wants to determine its type. Vesicles and plasentas, which babies are in, will be examined by ultrasound. By examing the conditions of plasenta and vesicle, type of multiple pregnancy wil be determined. If they have different genders, they are dizygotic twins. If they have same gender, their plasentas will be examined (Lambda sign). Singleness of plasenta and amniotic vesicle shows that it is a monozygotic (maternal twin). But this distinct in not that easy. Only, DNA analyisis shows the precise distinction.

In old times multiple pregnancies realized by distinguished by enormity of mother’s womb and listening babies’ heart beats from two sides with a physical examination. Nowadays pregancies could be diagnosed from 6th week of pregnancy with advanced ultrasound technology.



Expectant mother having multiple pregnancy will have a distinct development rather than a single pregnancy. During pregnancy she will gain too much weight (approximately 18-20 kgs).



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