What Conjoined Twins Mean?
To understand about the Ischiopagus conjoined twins, you have to first understand what conjoined twins mean. Conjoined twins are identical twins whose bodies are fused into each other’s right from the time they were in their mother’s uterus prior birth. The birth of conjoined twins is a very rare case, projected to range from one in every 50,000 births to one in every 200, 000 births, with a comparatively greater incidence rate in Southwest Asia and Africa regions.
Around half of the conjoined twins are stillborn. Many others are found to suffer from some or other abnormality hindering a normal lifestyle. Their survival rate is estimated to be around 25 per cent, of which about 75 per cent are females. Though the world has witnessed many famous conjoined twins, the popularity of Chang and Eng Bunker (from 1811 to 1874) surpasses all others. The two Chinese brothers were born in Siam, now Thailand and traveled with P.T. Barnum's circus for years. It’s because of them that the term Siamese Twins became synonymous with conjoined twins.
Ischiopagus Conjoined Twins
Conjoined twins may be joined together from different parts of their bodies like head, chest, hip and so on. So depending upon from which part of the body they are joined, conjoined twins have been grouped under different sections like Thoracopagus twins, Omphalopagus twins, Parapagus twins and so on. Ischiopagus, thus, is one such category (comprising six percent of total conjoined births) in which the twins are joined at the pelvis. Many Ischiopagus twins share the lower gastrointestinal tract, as well as the genital and urinary tract organs.
Cause of the Birth of Conjoined Twins
The identical twins happen when one single fertilized egg splits up and develops into two individual fetuses in the mother’s womb. This split usually takes place during the initial couple of weeks after conception. But if the fertilized egg splits up later on, the twins will be born conjoined. The degree to which the fertilized egg splits and the time of splitting is what primarily determines how the twins will be fused. The reason for delayed splitting of the fertilized egg is, however, not known.
Treatment of Ischiopagus or any Other Kind of Conjoined Twins
Surgery, ranging from simple to serious, is the sole treatment that is known to have separated conjoined twins in the past. However, most surgeries of this kind (especially in case of conjoined twins fused at the head) can be very perilous and is even known to have caused death. Seeing the complications involved, many parents have even take the painful decision to terminate the pregnancy. In case the parents wish to continue the pregnancy, then both the mother and the baby are closely monitored till the time the conjoined twins are safely born.