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What Is The Miscarriage Rate For Twins?

by Jill Di Donato
Originally Published: 

Miscarriages can be an unfortunate, but common part of your experience if you're trying to conceive. There's a lot to be discovered about how, why, and when miscarriages occur. But what is the miscarriage rate for twins? Does being pregnant with multiples increase or decrease your risk of miscarriage? According to Fit Pregnancy, of the vast majority of all miscarriages in general, more than 50 percent have to do with chromosomal errors as the egg and sperm are fusing to make the embryo. Other common causes of miscarriages, according to the same Fit Pregnancy article, have to do with the mother's health.

A 2013 study that examined the miscarriage rate of twins estimated it to be between 10 and 20 percent, which, according to The Oxford Journal is the same rate of miscarriage for women pregnant with single births. What makes studying rates of miscarriages in general especially difficult for specialists is that often times, they go undetected, before a woman even knows she's pregnant. Fit Pregnancy reported that somewhere from 10 to 25 percent of known pregnancies end in miscarriage. As far as the medical community can tell, then you're carrying multiples, the risk of miscarriage doesn't increase nor does it decrease. I know this isn't very helpful and, hopefully, as more money goes into funding reproductive health, people will learn more about miscarriages in general. If you are pregnant with twins and are nervous about miscarriage, here are two things you should discuss with your physician.


Most Miscarriages Occur In The First Trimester

Dr. Henry Lerner told Fit Pregnancy that “routine miscarriages many women have are due to pure bad luck.” Well, jeez. That's not very useful. But this point does underscore how important the randomness of miscarriage can be.

And while that might not put you too much at ease, know that most miscarriages occur within the first 13 weeks of pregnancy, according to the American Pregnancy Association (APA). Fit Pregnancy reported that the mother's pre-existing health conditions, in particular, thyroid problems, diabetes, genital-tract infections, and being either underweight or obese can all "pose some degree of miscarriage risk." So, if you're pregnant with twins, you'll obviously want to address all of your pre-existing health concerns with your doctor before becoming pregnant, and at least by thirteenth week of pregnancy.


Vanishing Twin Syndrome

Couldn't doctors have come up with another name for this? Registered nurse, Karen Moise told The Bump that Vanishing Twin Syndrome, or VTS, occurs when one fetus dies in the womb. Because the tissue that remains from the deceased fetus is absorbed by the other fetus in the womb or by the placenta, the mother experiences this as the fetus literally disappearing. The APA estimates that VTS occurs in 21 to 30 percent of multiple pregnancies. The cause is unknown, and also according to the APA, usually occurs in the first trimester, leaving the mother and surviving fetus unharmed.

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