Twin pregnancies occur in approximately 1 in 80 pregnant women. A twin pregnancy can be detected at an early stage through ultrasound examination. With a twin pregnancy you are more likely to experience complaints during pregnancy than with a singleton pregnancy. These complaints are often noticeable early on. Below you will find more information about how a twin pregnancy actually occurs and all the symptoms that can occur with a twin pregnancy.
- How are twins formed?
- Fraternal twins
- Identical twins
- Symptoms of twin pregnancies
How are twins formed?
Twins can arise in two ways:
- During ovulation, two eggs are released, both of which are fertilized by a sperm cell. This leads to fraternal twins with two different children;
- One egg is fertilized and later splits into two fertilized cells. This leads to identical and therefore identical twins.
The chance of a fraternal pregnancy is partly determined by a hereditary factor within the woman’s family. Double ovulation can be passed on through the woman’s father. Double ovulation is hereditary. The chance of double ovulation also increases as the woman gets older. Perhaps to increase the chance of pregnancy during the fertile days. In fact, during a twin pregnancy, two different children (brothers/sisters) grow in the womb and are born at the same time. Both babies also have their own placenta and amniotic sac.
Identical twins are created as indicated by a splitting of a fertilized egg. The resulting twins are identical to each other and of the same sex. There is still a difference in how the egg cell is split within identical twin pregnancies. Nevertheless, the children will be identical.
The different divisions of fertilized identical twins:
- If the egg cell splits shortly after the first cell division, they both get their own placenta and amniotic membranes, but remain close to each other.
- The division can also take place after the placenta has been established. In this case, they each share the same placenta. They are separated by a membrane, but they are both surrounded by the same outer membrane.
- In 1% of all identical twins, division occurs after the membranes have already formed. In that case they share both the membrane and the placenta.
Symptoms of twin pregnancies
A twin pregnancy generally causes more complaints than a single pregnancy. The first symptoms often occur early in pregnancy. Below are the symptoms that may occur:
- Vomiting/vomiting (early in pregnancy)
- Suffer (extremely) a lot from belching & heartburn
- Getting out of breath very quickly
- Severe back pain
- Swollen ankles
- Varicose veins, stretch marks & hemorrhoids
- High bloodpressure
- The abdomen grows faster than would normally be expected
- Weight gain of up to 5 kilos in the first trimester
- Early movements palpable
All these symptoms can also occur in a single pregnancy and an ultrasound scan at a later stage of the pregnancy will show whether twins have indeed grown.
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