Vanishing Twin Syndrome

The English Professor Sir Robert Winston quotes the figure of 82% of conceptions being twins but only 7% ending up in live full-term births. This information is now more obvious as ultrasound scanning becomes routine. Twins are seen early in the pregnancy and then not in later scans, one baby usually disappearing in the first trimester. There may have been blood or tissue loss or the twin has just disappeared, hence the term “Vanishing Twin Syndrome’.

This loss can be overwhelming and yet it is necessary to continue with the pregnancy. Parents have to deal with both the feelings of grief but also joy for the surviving baby, all being experienced at the same time. The months ahead may be an anxious waiting time too with concern about the health of the remaining baby.

For the families, there is grief also for the loss of the ‘twin experience’. Researchers are only just beginning to acknowledge and understand that the twin that remains can also be affected.

Twin and Multiple Birth Loss NZ (Inc.) have stories from other women who have experienced this syndrome. If you would like to contact them at or go to their website

Further contact information is under our Website section.