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Frequently Asked Questions

How common is vanishing twin syndrome?

Vanishing twin syndrome has been diagnosed more frequently since the use of ultrasonography in early pregnancy. Estimates indicate that vanishing twin syndrome occurs in 21-30% of multifetal pregnancies. What causes Vanishing Twin Syndrome? In most cases, the cause of vanishing twin syndrome is unknown.

How do you know if one of your twins has died?

If an early ultrasound shows a twin pregnancy, but a mother experiences symptoms of miscarriage or lower-than-expected hCG levels, or only one heartbeat can be detected via Doppler, a doctor may suspect vanishing twin syndrome. A follow-up ultrasound can determine if one twin has been lost.

Does vanishing twin syndrome cause spastic cerebral palsy?

Researchers have proposed that vanishing twin syndrome may determine spastic cerebral palsy at the viable brother. A possible mechanism is the transfusion of thromboplastin proteins from the death brother at the viable one, leading to disseminated intravascular coagulation (DIC).

What happens when a twin disappears during pregnancy?

Most often the vanishing twin is absorbed by the mother's body so that there is no evidence of the twin at the time of delivery. Sometimes, if a twin vanishes between 15 and 20 weeks gestation, a fetus papyraceous remains.

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