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There are many signs and indications that a mother's pregnancy started with twins (or more) but one of the twins (or all but one of a multiple pregnancy) died, either during the pregnancy or around birth. Research has revealed that for every pair of twins born with both alive, there are at least ten pregnancies where one twin dies. As twins make up about 1% of the population, that means that 1 in every 10 people is a womb twin survivor.

This slideshow will tell you most of what you need to know:


Signs of twin pregnancy

The mother’s pregnancy


Mother abnormally large around the waist in the first three months

First trimester bleeding

Complete miscarriage but pregnancy continued

Suspected miscarriage but pregnancy continued

Attempted abortion but pregnancy continued

Doctor or nurse suspected twin pregnancy

Another person suspected twins

Mother experienced blunt trauma in an accident or assault when pregnant

Mother experienced infection during pregnancy

Mother experienced severe trauma during pregnancy

Mother experienced starvation through illness, famine or hyperemesis

Mother took hyper-ovulation drug (eg. Clomid)

More that one embryo transplanted after IVF

Ultrasound evidence of second sac

Features of labour and delivery

Birth was traumatic

Breech birth

Small for dates

Placenta unusually large

Within body of survivor

Dermoid cyst


Foetus in fetu

Sexual organs of opposite sex

Secondary sexual characteristics of opposite sex

Cerebral palsy in the survivor

Birth defects in survivor

Split organs

Congenital abnormality

Physical evidence of the lost twin after delivery


Additional sacs or cords found

Fetus papyraceous

Marks or lesions on the placenta

Twin stillborn or dies close to birth


Other associations with twinning





Twins or womb twin survivors among blood relations


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