Vanishing Twin Syndrome

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What is Vanishing Twin Syndrome?
This is a syndrome where one of the fetuses from a set of twins or multiple fetuses dissapears in the uterus during a pregnancy. This interesting phenomenon has only been known for about 60 years. This is mostly due to the new advances with ultrasound technology, as we can now see fetuses in the first trimester. With Vanishing Twin syndrome, the fetus is usually gone in the second ultra sound. According to the american pregnancy association, this happens in 21-30% of multiple fetus pregnancies.

What Are the Signs and Causes of Vanishing Twin Syndrome?
This typically happens in the first trimester, with women over thirty. Signs might include bleeding, cramps and pain. Although the exact causes are not known, many of the problems lead back to chromosomal abnormalities, which occur quite frequently in all miscarriages. Problems can also stem from abnormal cord formation.This typically happens in the first trimester, with women over thirty. 

What Happens to the Vanished Fetus?
The vanishing fetus will usually be completely absorbed by the surviving fetus. It can also be compressed, a condition known as fetus papyraceus. There can also be an abnormal formation on the placenta, such as a cyst.

What About the Surviving Fetus?
If the other fetus has vanished after the first trimester, it may be at risk for cerebra palsy, according to WebMD. Otherwise the remaining twin is usually healthy, and unaffected by the loss.

Although this medical phenomenon may seem scary, it is a natural part of pregnancy. Many miscarriages are due to chromosomal abnormalities and improper placement of the umbilical cord. It only makes sense that this can happen to a single fetus, multiple fetuses, or one of multiple fetuses.