When a Twin Pregnancy Becomes a Singleton Pregnancy

If you’ve lost a baby but continued to be pregnant with their twin, we’re so sorry, and want you to know that you’re not alone.

Losing one twin during a multiple pregnancy is known as a ‘vanishing twin’ pregnancy and it usually happens in the first trimester. Very often, this happens before our first scan at around 12 weeks, and we never know as no sign is left behind because the twin can be reabsorbed, but sometimes a mother might be given an early scan and know they’re expecting twins, or visit for bleeding to be told one twin has been lost. As more and more women seek out early ultrasound scans, identified cases of a ‘vanishing twin’ are increasing.

What are the symptoms of Vanishing Twin Syndrome?

The symptoms are usually similar to those of a typical miscarriage;

  • Cramping
  • Bleeding
  • Back pain
  • Feeling generally unwell

This often leads an expectant mother to seek medical attention, and as we previously noted, this is when a scan is typically given and vanishing twin syndrome is identified. However, in the past, this was identified through examining the placenta after the birth of the surviving singleton rather than an early scan as ultrasound sonography wasn’t as accurate in the past. Some women (including a relative of mine) in past decades have been known to have a miscarriage and not realise they’re still pregnant with a surviving singleton until much later on in the pregnancy!

How common is Vanishing Twin Syndrome?

What To Expect has stated that vanishing twin syndrome will occur in 20 to 30% of all multiple pregnancies, a figure also stated by The American Pregnancy Association.

Is there a cause of Vanishing Twin Syndrome?

Usually, no cause is known. There’s nothing that you have done wrong for this to happen; it is thought that developmental abnormalities very, very early on are the cause, as with all miscarriages.

If you’ve lost a twin very early on in your pregnancy, the risks to your surviving twin are low. If your loss occurred in the second or third trimester, certain risks are raised, which your consultants and midwives would explain to you and monitor to ensure you and the other twin are ok.

TOWIE star Chloe Lewis has shared her personal experience of Vanishing Twin Syndrome.

The former cast member of TOWIE lost one of her babies 8 weeks into her pregnancy. She is due to give birth to the surviving twin in the next few weeks.

She experienced bleeding in her first trimester, and was told that she had been expecting identical twins after a scan showed two fetuses. Only one was viable, and heartbreakingly Chloe did lose the twin who was struggling. We’re very pleased to see that Chloe’s pregnancy has continued healthily and send all of our love.

Read her story here!

If you’d like to share your own experience of vanishing twin syndrome with our followers, email katie@bumpbabyandyou.co.uk for more information.

Love from Katie & Team BBY! Xx