What is Vanishing twin syndrome?

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By Selija Achaya

Many new mothers have expressed concerns about why their early ultrasound showed they were expecting twins and upon delivery, they had one infant. Those who gave birth and were sedated cited foul play.

In most cases, it’s true the first ultrasound was correct and they were expecting twins. But there was no foul play. This is where the knowledge of vanishing twins comes in handy.

What is a vanishing twin?

A vanishing twin also known as twin resorption is a type of miscarriage that can occur during a twin or multiple pregnancy. The fetus though first discovered through an ultrasound later dies in the uterus. And is then partially or completely reabsorbed in by the mother and the surviving twin or other surviving embryos. The practice is completely harmless.

With vanishing twin syndrome, a pregnancy involving twins or triplets becomes a pregnancy involving one less baby than was initially anticipated.

The dead twin is compressed and flattened while the live twin thrives and is delivered a very healthy baby.

Vanishing twin usually occurs but it’s not easily discovered. The high absorption rates occur due to intense fetal competition for space, nutrition, or other factors during the early pregnancy stage and survival of the fittest.

Symptoms of vanishing twin syndrome?

Signs of vanishing twin syndrome mimic the signs of the first trimester of pregnancy.the symptoms include.

cramps in your uterus

Light bleeding and spotting.

pelvic pain

Back pain

This similarity in symptoms can make one not know they miscarried one of the embryos unless one had an ultrasound during the first few weeks of pregnancy. If you experience the symptoms talk to your doctor.

Is vanishing twin syndrome common?

it is not known how vanishing twins is common in fact this news is a shocker to many people. this can only be determined if many women went for ultrasounds early in the pregnancy.

While women who conceived through IVF invitro fertilization due to fertilization of many embryos cases of vanishing twins occur.

This syndrome is more prevalent in pregnant women above 30 years.

What causes vanishing twin syndrome?

This condition mostly results due to irregularities in the vanishing twin DNA that prevents it from fully developing. The embryo cannot be salvaged as it has irregularities in its genetic code which cannot be controlled.


Vanishing twins syndrome is a real condition. And although the mother and the other surviving embryo or embryos consume the dead twin it’s completely harmless.

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