What is Vanishing Twin Syndrome?
Vanishing twin syndrome is when one of the fetuses that were present on previous ultrasounds disappears from the womb resulting in a single birth.
What actually happens to the fetus?
With vanishing twin syndrome one of the fetuses during the first trimester of pregnancy aborts spontaneously. Its fetal tissue is absorbed by the mother’s uterus, the placenta or the other baby giving ;the appearance that the twin has now “vanished.”
How is this syndrome diagnosed?
Basically the mother during her first trimester of pregnancy will go in and have an ultrasound anywhere between six to seven weeks of pregnancy. The ultrasound detects to fetuses and the mother is informed that she is having twins. The mother than returns for a follow up ultrasound approximately six weeks later and only one heartbeat can be detected. Another ultrasound is then ordered to confirm the diagnosis. Some mothers have reported that their bodies mimic the signs of miscarriage, but the healthy fetus is not harmed.
How often does this situation occur?
Through research scientist have confirmed that the number of twin conceptions outweighs the number of twin births. Some even believe that ever 1 and 8 people born were a twin at conception. In multiple birth pregnancies vanishing twin syndrome is 20 to 30% likely to happen. In pregnancies were conception was assisted, vanishing twin has a 50% occurrence.
Is it happening more frequently than before?
Vanishing twin syndrome is not actually happening more regular, but it is being more readily diagnosed. With the advancements in technology, ultrasounds can give doctors and perspective parents a look into the womb earlier and earlier. Many women in years before experienced VTS and were not aware of it.
What causes VTS?
As in most miscarriages, there is not a specific reason why it occurred. The same appears to be true with VTS. The fetus itself may not have been viable for some chromosomal reasons or placenta abnormalities. VTS is more common in older women who choose to have children.
What are the symptoms of VTS?
Many women experience VTS without ever knowing it. So women have reported that they experienced mild cramping, bleeding or pelvic discomfort similar to that of when a miscarriage occurs.