Multiple pregnancy refers to a pregnancy having two or more fetuses in the womb
In this pregnancy, the fetus can be similar (identical) or different (fraternal).
The identical twins or triplets generally come from a single fertilized egg and always have same sex and blood type.
However, fraternal multiple fetuses come from various fertilized eggs and also have separate placentas and amniotic sacs.
The sex and blood groups will be different.
Remember that having two fetuses is known as twins and having three fetuses is known as triplets.
Quadruplets refer to four fetuses and quintuplets indicate five fetuses.
Twins are the most common type of this pregnancy. However, today, the occurrence of multiple pregnancies having twins, triplets, quadruplets, quintuplets and more is becoming common worldwide. The biggest multiple pregnancy on record is the birth of nine babies.
The factors related to having a multiple pregnancy are several. These factors can be natural or technical.
Heredity is a natural factor of multiple pregnancies. Having a family medical history of this pregnancy can increase your chances of having twins or triplets. Having pregnancy at an age of thirty or more also has high chances of developing multiple fetuses.
High parity is another natural factor of this type of pregnancy. Giving birth to two or more babies previously also increases your possibility of having multiple pregnancy.
The possibility of conceiving multiple pregnancy is more during the first menstrual cycle after you stop using birth control pills.
Other factors that lead to this pregnancy in recent years are reproductive technologies.
Having more than one ovulation during your menstrual cycle or release of multiple eggs and having fertilization of these eggs can result in multiple pregnancy.
This type of pregnancy can result in fraternal twins and can occur naturally or with use of ovulation-stimulating medications (fertility drugs) such as clomiphene citrate and follicle stimulating hormone (FSH).
Remember that multiple pregnancy caused by reproductive techniques nearly result in fraternal, rather than identical.
On the other hand, multiple pregnancy can result in identical twins when a single egg is fertilized and divides in two. Even this type of pregnancy can occur naturally or with the use of fertility drugs.
In vitro fertilization (IVF), an assisted reproductive technology for infertility problems can also increase your risk of having multiple pregnancy, as this fertilization technique makes use of fertility drugs to generate multiple eggs for fertilization.
When the fertilization occurs, the fertilized eggs are put back into the uterus to develop.
This pregnancy can be identified from blood test and ultrasound test. A blood test resulting in high levels of HCG hormones indicates multiples.
On the other hand, ultrasounds test is most accurate way to detect multiples. It provides the status of the fetuses within the uterus in the pictorial form on a computer screen.
When test results show a multiple pregnancy, it is very essential for you to have extra care by increasing your intake of pregnancy nutrition, healthy weight gain, and proper rest more than a normal pregnancy.
So, by taking extra care you can maintain a healthy multiple pregnancy!