Talk:Vanishing twin

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Image[edit]

anyone have a image of what this sheath might look like?

The "sheath" is in fact the remains when of the amniotic sac. It is a very thin membrane, pale and whiteish. The remains of the twin may have disintegrated completely, leaving just an empty sac, or if the bones have started to form ( (ie. after about 12 weeks of gestation) it contains the mummified body of the twin, called the fetus papyraceous, or "paper fetus". (Althea@wombtwin.com)

Wombtwin survival[edit]

That wombtwin survival stuff is totally bogus on the same level as starsign astrology and alien mindcontrol. It doesn't really deserve mentioning in an article about a medical phenomenon. (sven@scientist.com)

Wombtwin survivors vary a lot. They often have medical proof (see above) and many have no proof whatever but a deep inner conviction of once having had a twin. Others have vague symptoms they don't understand (such as irrational negativity or paranoia) that clear up once they have realise they are a wombtwin survivor and work through the feelings that are associated with being one. (Althea@wombtwin.com)

  • Neat theory, but smells like original research t'me. --Jack (Cuervo) 10:08, 30 August 2005 (UTC)
  • There's now a reference to Coast to Coast AM on it (added Jan 8), the references serve to unbalance an otherwise good article. -- Some annonymous guy

The list of signs (besides medical proof that the pregnancy started off as multiple) reminds me of the signs that one might be "otherkin", an extreme brand of new-age beliefs so obscure it doesn't even have a Wikipedia article (but feel free to Google it if you're curious. Basically, they think they're reincarnated elves, dragons, etc.). I guess it just goes to show that people who feel "different" can come up with all sorts of non-scientific explanations. I always felt "different" too, but there are perfectly rational explanations for that without delving into speculation, reincarnation, or anything else non-scientific. In cases where there is medical proof, the "symptoms" of being a "wombtwin survivor" may mistake corrolation for causation. It shows a level of ignorance as to how memory works to suggest that someone could have in-utero or neonatal memories. I've suggested that the "wombtwin" article be merged into this one, but mainly because it has some decent scientific information along with its non-scientific info. Otherwise, I'd just list it as an article for deletion under the "no neologisms" policy. --Icarus 02:04, 15 October 2005 (UTC)

Correction to above post: turns out there is an "otherkin" article. I hadn't found one when I'd looked ages ago, but there's been one for over a year now. I wonder if I misspelled it when I'd looked a while ago, or if it was really so long ago that I'd looked. --Icarus 04:23, 17 October 2005 (UTC)

The remarks about "uterine memory" are of course quite reasonable but there is now a whole science of prenatal psychology that has been in existence for more than 20 years and most people are prepared to take it seriously.(Altheahayton 18:09, 18 March 2006 (UTC))

WombTwin Survival is signicant just not so much the psyche effects. The "uterine memory" may be of the surviving twin but I would like to see actual research on the mothers loss, chemical reaction to this loss and surviving twin. The conditioning of the primary caregiver who may implant this mourning. I am a believer in Hokie-Pokie/ Psyche possiblities, yet the infinate outcomes of miracle/ divine intervention make the study nearly impossible for man to test and log- just observe effects. The abscence of a physical life in this realm does not include the spirit, so eitherway I will help to guide anyone who believes oneway as THE way of exsistence to see that you have 2 eyes to see, billions of nerves to feel and a heart that will beat as your spirit sees fit. For all the miscarriages, loss of love - greiving is a serious accusation and should not be labeled on an innocent child. Look in the eyes of life with joy and not remorse for the spirits not physically with us. JB

I have to disagree with JB: this is VERY important work and more people should be aware of the real grief the loss of a twin engenders. This is no "accusation" - this describes a reality. The psychological effects are in fact very marked, once you know what to look for, and I am learning, slowly. This does indeed require further research, which I am carrying out by means of a questionnaire on my website, wombtwin.com. I will get back to you with the results - which I am currently subjecting to statistical analysis with the help of a database expert - but so far I have one incontrovertible result: a 95% positive response to the statement "Deep down, I feel alone, even among friends." In my new book "Untwinned" (see main page) there are several articles that correlate being a surviving twin with suicidal feelings, both in childhood and in adulthood. This is not "labelling an innocent child", this is finally finding words to describe an emotional reality that has haunted that child since birth. This can be healed, once it is fully understood. Althea (Jan 2007)

George Noory, a researcher? plleeease!  ;)[edit]

The Coast to Coast AM show is as much entertainment as anything else. It is not directed in any scientific way. I took the liberty of removing the part that referred to it as research. I would not mind seeing the rest of the sentence vanish as well.

But i feel that the point about memories of a deceased twin is worth mentioning—with the appropriate qualification as mere hypothesis, of course (as in a largely unqualified idea, as distinguished from theory—which tends to imply a great deal more examination and supporting evidence). It is fairly well accepted that fetuses do perceive things, and remember, to some extent. —überRegenbogen 15:48, 25 April 2007 (UTC)

How can you tell?[edit]

"It is hypothesized that some instances of vanished twins leave no detectable trace". Does this mean to say it is possible to find out if you were conceived with a vanishing twin in some cases? What traces are left and how long are they detectable for? 86.147.254.0 18:15, 15 February 2007 (UTC)

This area of science is very controversial. Some scientists think the phenomenon is fairly common, while others think it is very rare. In some cases, yes, there are signs of the so-called vanished twin. This can range from actual delivery of a small amount of material (some hair and tooth or two, perhaps) to simply a "shadow" of the shape of a second twin imprinted on the placenta. In both cases, the dection would be made at birth. It may be possible to detect some twins sooner. For instance, if you have an amnicentisis done that indicates a boy is present (due to precense of Y chromosome) and then later 7. deliver a girl, the inference could be that there was once a boy present. The makers of the Baby Gender Mentor test have used this explanation to supposedly account for cases where their test gave an inaccurate prediction. Note, however, that that test is controversial itself and that the makers are being sued for alleged false claims and other abuses.
It is hypothesized that since some "vanished" twins leave a fair amount of evidence and some leave just a very small trace, that there may be be some other twins that leave no detectable evidence at all. The theory is that someday a new method of detection would be developed that would spot even more vanished twins. It is just a guess really. By definition it can't be proven. It's like saying, "there may be fish species in the ocean that we don't know about". The statement cannot be disproven because one cannot prove a negative.
This whole article needs better sourcing about what specific scientist has stated what, and what their evidence is. Johntex\talk 18:26, 15 February 2007 (UTC)

Thanks for your prompt and imformative reply. I edited the article slightly to make it clearer when it can be detected. 86.147.254.0 19:05, 15 February 2007 (UTC)

I have just published an anthology of papers on the subject of vanishing twins and the psychological effects on the survivor. (ISBN 0952565498.) In it there is a list of signs and indications of a lost twin pregnancy based on my own literature research. There are countless citations for individual signs but I can't think of any single citation that lists them all, except my book. I have entered them below as they appear in my book, if I included them in the article, perhaps with some short notes, would I have to give a citation for each? Im not sure how you give citations in wikipeda, so I haven't edited the article at this time.

INDICATORS OF A LOST TWIN:- 1. Drugs to stimulate ovulation 2. Extra large around the waist in first trimester 3. Vaginal bleeding in the first trimester 4. Untrasound images of a vanishing twin 5. Trauma in pregnancy such as an accident, an infection, surgical treatment or extreme emotional stress. 6. A breech birth 7. An unusual placenta 8. Attachments to placenta 9.The fetus papyraceous 10. Fetus in fetu 11. Teratoma 12 Mirrored organs/ lefthandedness 13 Split organs, additional bones 14 Uncertain sexuality 15 Genetic chimera (microchimerism) 16 Cerebral palsy

Altheahayton 18:48, 12 March 2007 (UTC)


Well I did it today. There are now some references and I'll add some more later on when I have time. Altheahayton 15:38, 23 March 2007 (UTC)

reorganisation and wikification[edit]

I did some fairly large reorganisation, and added some headings. (I'm not entirely satisfied with my "Stuff" heading, but i felt that the things that are now in it needed to be roped off somehow.) There is still a lot of semi-redundant info that needs to be integrated into the article in a much more graceful way. And the references still need to be wikified. —überRegenbogen 16:09, 25 April 2007 (UTC)

I've sifted the paragraph of redundancy into the rest of the article. I may tackle converting the parenthetica references in to footnotes, but no promises; i do tend to wander on to other things. ;) —überRegenbogen 16:35, 25 April 2007 (UTC)

Baby Gender Mentor[edit]

Recent Front Page FA Baby Gender Mentor has quite a few cites regarding vanishing twin--ZayZayEM 07:37, 13 May 2007 (UTC)

Vanished Twins[edit]

Science Channel aired a 2004 documentary film which examined the case of a 7-year-old Kazakhstani boy whose stomach had become distended. In April 2003, Surgeons tried to remove what they thought was a large cyst, but instead found his twin. At the end of the show, an expert estimates that 1 in 8 of pregnancy started out as twins, but only 10% of those pregnancy carried the twins through full term. Kowloonese (talk) 04:37, 26 September 2008 (UTC)

clarification on handedness[edit]

It isn't clear to me what is meant by this line:

It was hypothesized for a long time that non-right-handed and left-handed individuals may be the survivors of "mirror image" identical twinning

Can anyone rewrite that or something? I looked at the source, but it still wasn't clear to me. Ozy42 (talk) 20:27, 9 April 2010 (UTC)

This puzzled me but I have worked this out. It means anyone who isn't right-handed may have been one of a twin. Presumably depends on the idea that right-handedness is the default, and left-handedness only occurs in mirror-image twins. Would be clearer if it said "left-handed or ambidextrous individuals", or simply "non-right-handed individuals". 146.90.30.39 (talk) 23:00, 23 August 2012 (UTC)

Consequences to the psyche of a survivor[edit]

I think this section could really do with some more references and alternative theories. I know that this is a fairly contested subject within psychology, but only one opinion is presented here.

I also think the section needs to be rewritten to match wikipedia standards, it appears to be written by someone trying to plug their website. The information within that section also appears highly dubious.

Can someone explain this line to me.[edit]

"It was hypothesized for a long time that non-right-handed and non-left-handed individuals may be the survivors of "mirror image" identical twinning." Is it saying that people who are right or left handed may have been in a vanishing twin pregnancy?FusionLord (talk) 08:10, 13 August 2012 (UTC)

Yes indeed they may be either. The idea is that a single zygote (fertilised egg) splits into two identical twins. If this happens relatively late in the process, that is, 2-3 days after fertilisation, then the developing blastocyst may split so that two "mirror-image" twins are created. If one twin dies, then the handedness of the survivor depends on which twin survived. It may be either the right-handed twin or the left-handed twin, so one can only be sure that the surviving twin is a womb twin survivor, if they are left-handed. Left-handedness is a physical indication of being a womb twin survivor (ie. someone who started life as a twin but their co-twin died in the womb or around birth) but only one of many other signs and indications

— Preceding unsigned comment added by Altheahayton (talkcontribs) 18:02, 16 February 2014 (UTC)