There are generally higher HCG levels in twin pregnancy, although they
are not necessarily doubled as you might imagine. HCG (human chorionic
gonadotropin) is a hormone produced during pregnancy that can be
detected in the blood or urine even before the mother misses her period.
This hormone doubles about every 2 to 3 days and reaches its peak between 8 and 11 weeks of pregnancy. And you guessed it, it's also what is detected in
an over the counter pregnancy test.
You should keep in mind that there may also be higher levels in a singleton pregnancy due to other factors, for instance, an entopic pregnancy. There may also be lower levels in a twin pregnancy that is completely healthy. So, HCG levels in a pregnancy with multiples are not always an accurate way to measure the health of the pregnancy. We asked our favorite expert to add some light...
According to our expert, Dr. Carrie Warshak:
The chart below features some sample levels
for comparison. Discuss your own results with your doctor, midwife, or other
healthcare provider for the most accurate information regarding your unique
The source of information in the table above is from a study done by
Dr. Richard Sherbahn and is for informational purposes only.
So, if you're newly pregnant and are wondering if it's twins due to higher HCG levels, your OB will likely be doing some further examinations to confirm or deny this. Remember, just one HCG reading is generally not going to provide enough information to make an precise diagnosis. Multiple readings will give a more accurate picture. However, an ultrasound or sonogram would likely be the next step as it's the most reliable way to confirm a twin or multiple pregnancy.
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