IVF – Vanishing Twin Syndrome

30.12.2021
IVF – Vanishing Twin Syndrome
In this article:

To increase the IVF procedure success rate, multiple embryos transfer is used.That’s why the likelihood of multiple pregnancies increases. However, it happens that only 1 baby is born, which may be due to the disappearance of one of the twins due to an intrauterine anomaly. It is possible to identify such a problem at an early stage thanks to modern diagnostic methods at an affordable cost. If necessary, you can choose the right solution for the successful development of both or one fetus.

What is vanishing twin syndrome?

The vanishing twin syndrome during multiple pregnancy was noticed by doctors in 1945. Meanwhile after some time, only one fetus remained in the woman’s uterus. The doctors, using modern diagnostic methods, increasingly detect this phenomenon.

It may be related to such factors as:

  • different potential of embryos, as a result of which the weak embryo is absorbed by the viable one;
  • access absence to nutrition, due to which one of the fetus continues developing after the disappearance of the other;
  • genetic abnormalities in the female body leading to the rejection of one or more embryos.

All couples using surrogacy for infertility should be informed about the procedure for fertilization and the replacement of several embryos. With an ultrasound examination after 2 weeks, the number of fetuses and their development is determined. With multiple pregnancies, there is a risk of vanishing twin syndrome, which can be determined due to a number of signs:

  • abdominal spasmus
  • vaginal bleeding
  • ache in the pelvic area

More often, intrauterine anomaly is observed in pregnant women over 35 years of age, as well as those who have twins / triplets in the family. Also, the syndrome is often observed in women taking fertility drugs. Taking into account these risk groups, VittoriaVita specialists are attentive to the selection of surrogate mothers in order to reduce the likelihood of developing this anomaly while expecting multiple pregnancies.

Vanishing Twin Syndrome Statistics

Multiple pregnancy is diagnosed with a frequency of 3-5 per 100 cases, while reabsorption of the twin is observed in 20-25%. In most cases, the problem is found in the first trimester and does not cause severe complications and changes in the health and condition of the woman. If the syndrome is observed in the later stages (2-3 trimester), then it threatens with premature birth, sepsis, bleeding.

Diagnostics and treatment

The most effective method of diagnosing vanishing twin syndrome is ultrasound. During manipulation, a yolk sac with incompletely developed parts of the fetus or lack of movement in one of the two embryos is found. At the initial stage of pregnancy, a blood test for the level of hCG is also informative.
With this syndrome, no special treatment is given if the abnormality is found in the first trimester, and the remaining fetus has stable blood flow. Upon disappearance, the twin may dissolve in the tissues of the surviving fetus, amniotic fluid, or placenta. In the case of a detected syndrome, regular monitoring of the surviving baby is carried out in order to timely identify possible complications and respond to them.

Harm to the twin

If a vanishing twin is found at the beginning of pregnancy, then nothing threatens the life and normal development of the other twin. When the problem is diagnosed in the second or third trimester, the risks of intrauterine growth restriction in the remaining twin increase. In this case, the following consequences are likely:

  • Premature birth, as a result of which the child will need resuscitation actions
  • High risk of developing cerebral palsy in the surviving child after birth

To minimize the risks of vanishing twin syndrome, VittoriaVita specialists carefully select women for surrogacy. If a couple wishes to have twins during IVF, genetic and chromosomal tests can be carried out before. Considering the legality of surrogacy in Ukraine, when drawing up a contract, doctors pay attention to all the possible risks, including the likelihood of the vanishing twin syndrome. Therefore, careful medical supervision is carried out during the further management of pregnancy for the successful birth of a healthy baby.

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