Vanishing Twin Phenomenon: What Is It?

Image via Flickr/ Anfueher


No, the baby that was originally seen on the ultrasound doesn't just vanish. Unfortunately, what actually happens is a miscarriage occurs, and one of the babies is lost. 

Imagine this: You go in for an ultrasound at 7 weeks gestation, and your doctor lets you know that you're going to have twins!


Beyond thinking about how you're going to be able to take care of an extra baby that you didn't plan for, you now have to clothe double the baby, feed double the baby, have double the amount of poopy diapers, and you're going to get half as much sleep. But who cares? You're having twins!

{ MORE: 5 Signs You Could Be Having Twins }

A few weeks later, though, you go to the same doctor and recline on the same table to have an ultrasound, but something's missing—only one baby is showing up on the ultrasound, and the other is nowhere to be found in your womb. Your doctor is trying to find the heartbeat of the second baby, but it's not showing up. It's as if one of your two babies has “vanished.”

What actually happens?

No, the baby that was originally seen on the ultrasound doesn't just vanish. Unfortunately, what actually happens is a miscarriage occurs, and the tissue may be absorbed by the body. 

{ MORE: I Think I've Had a Miscarriage }

According to the American Pregnancy Association, the reason why this happens is “frequently unknown,” but one of the factors that has been considered to by medical professionals is problems with issues with “chromosomal or placental abnormalities.” 

What do you think?

Vanishing Twin Phenomenon: What Is It?

Tell us what you think!


  1. Profile photo of Misty Misty says:

    I am 19wks Pregnant, and was suppposed to be having twins, had two sacs but one had and egg the other empty, but so far so good I have a healthy baby and find the sex next week, Ive had two misscarriages, But I know God is blessed me with this one! 😉

  2. Profile photo of Aileen Aileen says:

    This happened to me. Only one heart beat. And I had spotting for a few days.

  3. Profile photo of susan susan says:

    This happened to by brother and his wife. But they have a healthy happy baby girl

  4. Profile photo of latrice latrice says:

    I have unfortunately experienced this. We learned at 10 wks we were having twins, saw two babies and two heartbeats.During our 13wk anatomy scan there was only 1 baby visible and 1 heartbeat… Doctor called it vanishing twin syndrome & before that I too never knew it existed. I’m now 26 wks and baby is fine. Its a bitter sweet feeling. Having lost a life and still have one going strong.

  5. Profile photo of Heather Heather says:

    We lost my daughter’s twin.

  6. Profile photo of verochka31 verochka31 says:

    unimaginable! wow ever heard of such before. God help and Bless all the pregnant women out there.

  7. Profile photo of LaurieHale LaurieHale says:

    This happened to my mother while she was pregnant with me. Makes me sad. Wish my twin had survived.

    • Profile photo of Katherine Katherine says:

      I understand I had a son in June and my placenta had burst I had a goo pregnancy all the way through and one day I was going to the hospital my son never mad it but here I am having a one again around the same time June 10 my first son was born June 12 of 2014 I’m due again June 10 of 2015 me and my sister is due around the same time


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