FAQ: TWIN PREGNANCY

Having twins is such a beautiful thing and many of us are curious how to get pregnant with twins. We had the opportunity to have a chat with Dr. Norafidah Ahmad, Consultant Obstetrician and Gynaecologist from KPJ Sabah Specialist Hospital to find out more about twin pregnancy. Here are some of the frequently asked questions from our readers about twin pregnancy>>>

 

1. WHAT ARE THE SIGNS OF A TWIN PREGNANCY?

Almost every pregnant woman will experience early pregnancy symptoms such as nausea and vomiting. In twin pregnancy, these symptoms can be excessive. The size of the pregnant uterus in twin pregnancy is expected to be larger than the pregnancy age during examination. Ultimately, the twin pregnancy can be confirmed through ultrasound scan by visualizing presence of two foetuses.

2. HOW CAN I GET PREGNANT WITH TWINS?

There are certain risk factors which are associated with higher risk of conceiving twin pregnancy such as previous history of twin pregnancy, family history of twins, advanced maternal age and usage of medications to stimulate ovulation.

 

A higher chance of conceiving twin pregnancy can be achieved via in-vitro Fertilisation (IVF) whereby transfer of 2 embryos can be performed during the process. However this may or may not result in twin pregnancy.

 

 

3. ARE PREGNANCY SYMPTOMS WORSE WITH A TWIN PREGNANCY?

Definitely. This is because, in the early pregnancy, there is presence of higher level pregnancy hormones. This leads to an aggravated early pregnancy symptoms such as nausea and vomiting. This sometimes causes severe dehydration which may require admission to hospital for fluid administration and supportive therapy.

 

When the pregnancy is advanced, the uterine size will be larger than usual and this may press on the surrounding structures causing more maternal discomfort such as shortness of breath, difficulty to ambulate and mobilize.

4. WHAT TYPES OF TWIN PREGNANCY IS THERE?

Twin pregnancy can be easily classified as identical and non identical twin. The identical twin develops from a single zygote which divides during its development giving rise to two embryos and later on develop two babies.

 

For non identical twin, it occurs as a result of fertilization of two different ova by two different sperms giving rise to two foetuses independently.

5. IS THE TWIN BOND REAL?

This may be true especially in identical twin as they share similar genetic makeup.

6. HOW CAN I TELL MY TWINS ARE IDENTICAL OR NOT?

During pregnancy, there are certain signs the doctor will look for during ultrasound scan to determine the types of twin pregnancy. Among the easiest way to differentiate are the twin pregnancies which share same placenta will result in identical twin and twin pregnancy with different gender fetuses will result in non-identical twin.

7. WHAT IS THE CURRENT TWIN PREGNANCY STATISTIC IN MALAYSIA?

Average incidence of twin pregnancy is 15 per 1000 births but great variation seen in certain countries. There are no readily available Malaysian birth registry statistics on twin pregnancy available at the current moment. However twin pregnancy rate is currently increasing in light of fact that women nowadays have a tendency to delay childbearing and decide to conceive at advanced age. Advanced maternal age is one of the risk factor of conceiving twin pregnancy. Higher uptake of assisted reproductive technologies such as in- vitro Fertilisation (IVF) also contribute to more twin pregnancy.

8. DO YOU HAVE TIPS ON HOW TO INCREASE CHANCES OF CONCEIVING TWIN?

Although the thought of having twin is lovely, the community must understand that twin pregnancy is categorized as high risk pregnancy and it carries more risk of complications towards the mother, fetuses and the babies once they are born. Chances of conceiving twin can be increased by using medication to induce ovulation. However usage of these ovulation agents may give rise to multiple pregnancies which are not only twin but also triplet, quadruplet and higher order pregnancy. The more number of foetuses in a pregnancy, the less chance for it to be successful.

 

Another way to increase chance of conceiving twin is via IVF, whereby 2 foetuses can be transferred during the process instead of single embryo transfer. But unfortunately, this does not guarantee success of getting twin pregnancy as one of embryo may fail to develop.

 

 

For more information about twin pregnancy or other pregnancy related matter, you may kindly contact Dr. Norafidah Ahmad at KPJ Sabah Specialist Hospital. Call 088-322000 to make appointment.

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