Monoamniotic Twins

Twins who are monoamniotic are extremely rare. The term refers to identical twins who share a single amniotic sac in the uterus. They also share a single placenta from which they get their nutrients but they have two umbilical cords so the nutrition reaches them individually.

Monoamniotic twins occur when the embryo does not split until after the formation of the amniotic sac. They only occur in one of every 35,000 to 60,000 pregnancies. They are at greater risk than twins who have separate amniotic sacs. This is because they are in close proximity to each other and this proximity can create complications in their individual development. It is very easy for the umbilical cords of the twins to become entangled which can hamper the supply of food and oxygen to the growing twins in the sac.

Causes for the Formation Of Monoamniotic Twins:

These twins are formed from a single fertilized egg that splits in two at some point after fertilization. As this split takes place only after the placenta and the amniotic sac have formed, the embryos end up sharing a single amniotic sac and placenta but two umbilical cords are formed for them.

Complications in Pregnancy with Monoamniotic Twins:

There are various complications that can arise in pregnancy with monoamniotic twins. These include:

Cord Entanglement:

This is the most common complication that can be seen during pregnancy with monoamniotic twins. As the umbilical cords are in close proximity to each other there is a great risk that they may become entangled. In such situations the nutrition and the oxygen which is being carried to the developing fetus through these cords gets hampered and the situation may be very dangerous to the health of the growing fetuses. You can expect your pregnancy to be closely monitored.Preterm Birth:

Premature birth is also an important issue that can be a risk during pregnancy with monoamniotic twins. Twin are in general more susceptible to preterm birth than singletons. Almost all monoamniotic twins will be delivered before the specified due date as the doctors often feel that waiting until term may be more dangerous for such twins.

Apart from these there can be other complications like cord compression, twin to twin transfusion syndrome among others. If you are expecting monoamniotic twins, you will be closely monitored throughout your pregnancy.

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