Twin transfusion syndrome: answers to FAQs
What is twin transfusion syndrome? How common is it? Is it dangerous? Can it be treated? We'll answer the most commonly asked questions about this unusual complication that can affect identical twins.
2 min read
Verified by Jenny Jansson
What is twin transfusion syndrome??
Twin transfusion syndrome (TTTS) can affect identical twins that share a placenta in the womb. The short explanation of this is that the babies' bloodstreams are connected and that one of the babies receives blood from the other. This means that one baby gets too much blood and the other baby doesn't get enough. Twin transfusion syndrome can occur anytime during pregnancy but is most common in weeks 16–25.
Is twin transfusion syndrome dangerous?
Yes, both babies can be very sick or die from twin transfusion syndrome. The baby who gets too little blood can suffer from a lack of oxygen and the one who gets too much can suffer from heart failure - both of these conditions in turn pose a risk of brain damage. The risks are reduced if the complication is detected early and treatment is started immediately. That's why you should go for frequent check-ups throughout the pregnancy when you are pregnant with twins sharing the placenta.
Can you treat twin transfusion syndrome??
Yes, in some cases the blood flow between the babies can be stopped by burning the blood vessel connections with a laser. The treatment is carried out with peephole surgery and usually poses no risk to the pregnant woman, but it also does not guarantee that the children will survive and be born healthy.
How common is twin transfusion syndrome??
Twin transfusion syndrome is an uncommon complication, affecting approximately 10–15% of all identical twins who share a placenta. Around 25–40% of all twins are identical and of these, about two-thirds share the placenta.
How is twin transfusion syndrome diagnosed??
Twin transfusion syndrome is usually discovered during an ultrasound examination, after an assessment of the amount of amniotic fluid and checking the babies' growth, bladders and blood circulation. The baby who doesn't get enough blood grows less well and stops urinating which results in less amniotic fluid. The baby gets too much blood and urinates more which results in more amniotic fluid.
Verified by Jenny Jansson
More from Preggers
Giving birth is hard work and it requires mental training and a lot of energy. Remember the following tips or make a checklist – it’s not far now!
Bumpies - Capturing Your Pregnancy Memories
Bumpies are a unique way of capturing your pregnancy journey - by photographing your growing belly instead of your face. With the Bump Booth tool, you can upload, edit, and add effects to your bumpies to create lasting memories of your pregnancy.
Girl or boy?
No, it can’t be predicted. But according to old wives’ tales, certain signs predict the gender of the child. What do you think?
Hospital bag checklist – here you get tips
Planning and preparing the hospital bag well in advance is a common recommendation - and a good idea. Maybe you can hardly think of anything other than what is now in front of you, childbirth! Then it's nice to know that the bag is ready in the hall. Here you get the best tips for the perfect hospital bag.
Not ready to tell anyone yet?
There are of course many reasons why you don’t want to tell anyone that you just got pregnant. And of course, it’s up to you to decide how and when you want to tell. Want some advice on how to hide the big news just a bit longer? Here are some great excuses for when you want to keep your secret to yourself just a little bit longer.