Are All Twin Pregnancies High Risk?


Being pregnant with twin babies is a heartening news. But, while regaling in the news, you also need to accept the fact that such pregnancy bears enhanced risk. Twin pregnancy is risky, and that is a universal truth. But like every new mother or pregnant woman, you must wondering Are all twin pregnancies, high risk? No, never. But a large number, amounting to about 60%, of all twin pregnancies is risky.

twin pregnancy risks

Twin Pregnancies Complications

Listed below are certain risks associated with twin pregnancies

Premature babies

In over 60% of twin and higher-order pregnancies, babies are born premature, i.e. before 37 weeks. So, these babies are usually underweight, i.e weighing less than 2.5kg. The bodies and organ systems of premature babies are not fully developed. Owing to this, they may need help with eating, breathing, staying warm and fighting infections. If the babies are born before 28 weeks, they are usually more vulnerable. Some of their organs may not even be ready for surviving the environment outside mother’s womb. These organs even may not function well. They often need admission in neonatal intensive care units.

Gestational hypertension

It has been observed that women with twin fetuses are more likely to suffer from high blood pressure. Moreover, you are likely to develop hypertension earlier with twins baby in the womb than with one baby in the womb. This can also lead to early detachment of the placenta resulting in miscarriage.


Your susceptibility to anemia becomes almost twice that of mothers with single fetus.


Birth defects

Twins baby have increased risk of congenital abnormalities like spina bifida, gastrointestinal problems, heart abnormalities etc.


Twin pregnancy mothers run the risk of losing one pregnancy. This is sometimes known as vanishing twin syndrome. In such cases, although two or more pregnancies may be noticed, one fetus may just vanishes or get miscarried. This usually occurs in the first trimester, but can happen in later trimesters too. You may even not notice it, since there may not be any bleeding.

Twin-to-twin transfusion syndrome

This is an abnormality that takes place when two identical twins baby share a placenta. In this abnormality, blood vessels may divert blood from one fetus to the other. This happens in around 15% of twin pregnancies. Abnormal blood vessels develop within this common placenta. These blood vessels may form connections between the umbilical cords and the circulatory systems of the twins. If the placenta is shared unequally between the two, one twin baby may get too small a share to grow normally or even survive. The problem with this abnormality is that there is neither any defined risk factor nor any preventive step to be taken. This can happen in any mother bearing two pregnancies together.


Pregnant women are at the risk of preeclampsia. This condition is said to occur when pregnant women suffer from high blood pressure, protein in urine, swelling of feet, ankles, hands or face, headache, blurred vision, fatigue, shortness of breath, abdominal pain etc. You may also grow a tendency to bruise easily and an inability to tolerate bright lights. If you are suffering from preeclampsia, your doctor may also check your blood clotting and kidney functions. The risk of preeclampsia is about two to three times in twin or multiple pregnancies compared to that in single pregnancies. Studies have indicated that the increased risk of preeclampsia in twin pregnancies may be due to increase in weight of the placenta.

Increase chance of cesarean delivery

Even if you like a normal vaginal delivery, you may have to undergo caesarian delivery. This may be necessitated by several factors such as locking twins, less weight of fetus, conjoined twins, twins sharing one amniotic sac etc. Moreover, the mouth of uterus may not dilate adequately to give birth. Another common condition that occurs in women with twin or multiple pregnancies is that the uterus is already stretched. This prevents it from producing enough contractions to give rise to normal vaginal delivery.

Fetal distress

The fetus may suffer from distress conditions like rapid or slow heart rate, difficulty breathing etc.


Morning sickness

Your morning sickness may get worse with twin pregnancy. Those uncomfortable and uneasy moments may only exacerbate with twin pregnancy. Your inclination to throw up may increase.

Gestational diabetes

Your risk of suffering from diabetes owing to pregnancy is more if you are bearing two or more fetus in your womb. If you have larger babies and you have to undergo a caesarian delivery, you are at even more increased risk of diabetes. If you suffer from gestational diabetes, you are more likely to suffer from type 2 diabetes in later life.

Some pregnant women carrying twins are exceptionally strong and healthy. They do not face any of the above risks and deliver twins without any complications. Lucky are those women who are able to sail smoothly with twin pregnancies. However, it is still important for all pregnant women to understand the risks associated with twin pregnancies.



Complications in a Multiples Pregnancy