Can hCG Levels Predict Multiple Pregnancy?

I've calculated that I'm three to four weeks pregnant, but the serum test done by the doctor indicates seven to eight weeks. Could this be due to the possibility of twins?

Question:
ABOUT THE EXPERT

Peg Plumbo CNM

Peg Plumbo has been a certified nurse-midwife (CNM) since 1976. She has assisted at over 1,000 births and currently teaches in the... Read more

Pregnancy tests generally measure the hormone hCG, which is unique to pregnancy, in either the blood or urine. These tests are getting more and more sensitive and can turn positive as early as one week from conception. Although it is possible to quantify how much of this hormone is present and give a rough idea of how far along the pregnancy is, this would not be a usual use of this test.

If your test was positive sooner than you expected it to be, you may be off on your dates, but unless the exact amount of hCG is measured, it would not be indicative of a multiple gestation. If the lab did quantify the test, then twins would have more hCG than a singleton pregnancy. An ultrasound would answer the question best.

The best indications of gestational age are good dates -- knowing when you conceived -- if that is possible, and an early ultrasound. It would be very unlikely if you got pregnant on the pill, if taken correctly, unless you were on antibiotics or had vomiting or diarrhea, which would interfere with pill effectiveness.

I hope this has been helpful.

Answer:
Need Advice?
Get answers from iVillage experts and other moms just like you!
ASK YOUR QUESTION
Question Details
Subject
  1. Pick a subject:
Connect with 1,039,394 members just like you
Share your knowledge, ask questions.