Risks in multiple pregnancies

Oct 08, 2010

The complication rate during pregnancy with twins is about 40%. Women with multiple pregnancies often develop pre-eclampsia, gestational diabetes, and hemorrhages during the term of their pregnancy. Joachim W Dudenhausen from the Charite Berlin University Medicine and Rolf F Maier from Magdeburg University Medical Center, investigate which risks can be minimized by close monitoring in multiple pregnancies (Dtsch Arztebl Int 2010; 107[38]: 663-8).

14 in 1000 pregnancies will be multiple pregnancies. The average term for multiple pregnancies is notably shorter (for , 36 weeks; for triplets, 32 weeks; and for quadruplets, 30 weeks). Causes include the greater weight carried by the pregnant woman and increased metabolism compared with a pregnancy with only one fetus. In monozygotic twins, only one placenta is present; consequently, the risk of death of one twin is higher than in dizygotic twins, where two placentas are present.

The feto-fetal transfusion syndrome affects only monozygotic twins and results in an undersupply of blood in one twin. The cause is a connecting blood vessel between the embryos, which leads to a redistribution of the blood. The treatment of choice for the syndrome is coagulation of the connecting vessel. The growth of the fetuses needs close monitoring.

The curves of head diameter and length of femur in twins are no different from those in singletons, but towards the end of multiple pregnancies, intrauterine growth is delayed. For this reason, in multiple pregnancies the delivery should be arranged after the 38th completed week of gestation.

Explore further: Domestic violence deters contraception

More information: www.aerzteblatt.de/v4/archiv/pdf.asp?id=78519

Related Stories

Laser surgery saves twins' lives

Aug 25, 2006

A new laser surgery is being used to save the lives of identical twins suffering from twin-to-twin transfusion syndrome, or TTTS.

Recommended for you

Soldiers cite 'Medic!' as a top hearing priority

1 hour ago

'Medic!', 'Hold fire!' and grid references are amongst the highest priorities for soldiers to be able to hear while on duty, according to new research from the University of Southampton.

New measures identified for newborn care in Uganda

2 hours ago

In Uganda, child mortality rates are improving, but progress is slower for deaths occurring in the first four weeks of life, or the newborn period, and for stillbirths. But recent evidence from local researchers ...

Should men cut back on their soy intake?

5 hours ago

Recently, a friend called my husband to inquire about the risks for men in consuming too much soy milk. He had read an article that described how one individual's plight led him down the path of breast enlargement, and was ...

Probing Question: What is umami?

5 hours ago

The next time you're at a dinner party and want to spice up the conversation, you might compliment the hosts on their umami-rich appetizers. Then wait a moment until someone invariably asks, "What's umami?"

User comments : 0

Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.