Risks in Multiple Pregnancies

BERLIN, Oct. 12 (UPI) — German researchers say the complication rate during pregnancy with twins is about 40 percent.

Joachim Dudenhausen from the Charite Berlin University Medicine and Rolf Maier from Magdeburg University Medical Center say 14 in 1,000 pregnancies will be multiple pregnancies. Multiple pregnancies have notably shorter terms — 36 weeks for twins, 32 weeks for triplets and 30 weeks for quadruplets — and mothers carry greater weight and have increased metabolism compared to pregnancies with one fetus.

The researchers note monozygotic twins have only one placenta present and consequently the risk of death of one twin is higher than in dizygotic twins, where two placentas are present.

In an article published in Deutsches Aerzteblatt International, Dudenhausen, Maier and colleagues advise some of the risks associated with multiple pregnancies may be minimized by close monitoring. Among these conditions, they say, is feto-fetal transfusion syndrome — a condition affecting only monozygotic twins — in which blood is undersupplied to one twin.

“The cause is a connecting blood vessel between the embryos, which leads to a redistribution of the blood,” the authors say in a statement. “The treatment of choice for the syndrome is coagulation of the connecting vessel.”

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