Can You Miscarry One Twin?

Miscarriage is extremely distressing and is sadly very common. According to statistics from the APA (American Pregnancy Association), a quarter of all pregnancies end in miscarriage. In cases of multiple pregnancies, the risk of miscarry will increase. These facts may make some women wonder whether it is possible to miscarry one twin.

Can You Miscarry One Twin?

Yes, it is possible to miscarry just one twin in pregnancies, and this can happen in the following conditions.

1. Vanishing Twin Syndrome

Vanishing twin syndrome usually occurs in the first trimester of pregnancy. In this condition, one of the fetuses does not grow at the same pace as the other, and instead of developing into a baby, its tissue is reabsorbed into the womb. It can actually occur before the mother is even aware that she is pregnant with twins.

The remaining fetus usually continues to develop normally through the gestation period. It is believed that women over the age of 30 are more likely to experience this phenomenon than younger women. While some women will be entirely asymptomatic, others may experience cramping and bleeding which are associated with miscarriage.

2. Late-Pregnancy Loss

Miscarriage of one baby may also happen after the first trimester, and this is called a late-pregnancy loss. This condition is usually due to fetal abnormality, or issues with the placenta or umbilicus. Your physician may let you rest on bed as much as possible in order to protect the remaining baby.

What Will Happen to the Remaining Twin?

Can you miscarry one twin? Now you know that this is possible. So what will happen to another twin? After the loss of one fetus, the viable baby is not usually affected. Particularly if the loss of the baby was due to chromosomal factors, or the twins were dizygotic. In most cases, the surviving twin will continue to grow and develop without complications.

However, the surviving twin may have a low birth weight, which has associated health risks, causing health issues later in life.

If your physician is aware that you have suffered from vanishing twin syndrome, he or she will monitor your pregnancy more closely to make sure that the other baby will develop normally.

What Are the Symptoms of Vanishing Twin Syndrome?

  • Can you miscarry one twin and experience no symptoms? Yes, if it happens in the first trimester, you may have no noticeable symptoms. As the HCG levels will still be high, you will experience the usual early symptoms of pregnancy. Some pregnant women may experience cramping or bleeding, while others may not. If you are receiving regular blood tests, the results might show some fluctuations in the levels of the pregnancy hormone, and this is likely to be the earliest indication that the mother was carrying multiple pregnancies, and one of the babies has lost.
  • If it happens after the first trimester, the compressed fetus may be present at the birth of the surviving twin, as they will both be expelled from the womb. This might be the first time you know that you were pregnant with twins. In some cases, a late stage miscarriage can cause issues such as early labor, bleeding, infection and birth complications.

How to Treat Vanishing Twin Syndrome

There is no actual treatment for vanishing twin syndrome. Assuming that the surviving twin continues to grow and develop, nothing can be done to manage the twin which has miscarried. If it becomes obvious that neither twin is viable, you may have to go through a dilation and curettage of your uterus.

What Can Be Done to Prevent Vanishing Twin Syndrome?

There are no preventative measures that can be taken to prevent vanishing twin syndrome. Some researchers believe that this syndrome is due to an interruption in the developing genetic structure of the embryo, which can't be controlled by the parents or doctors. 

If you suffer from repeated miscarriage, you may need the genetic counseling. Speak to your physician if you want to try this method. 

Other People’s Experience

Can you miscarry one twin? Now you know the answer, and let’s see some other people’s experience about this.

“I’m currently pregnant and was originally carrying twins. I lost one of the babies at just nine weeks, and I am still carrying the other at almost term. It is definitely possible, and if your intuition is telling you that you were carrying twins, you could be right.”

“It can happen. I had an early ultrasound at 5 weeks for medical reasons which showed that I was carrying twins. I had a second scan at 8 weeks which showed there were two sacks, but only one visible baby, and by 12 weeks there was nothing at all to suggest that there had ever been two babies. I never experienced any symptoms of miscarriage.”

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