Blood type may have no effect on your ability to maintain a happy, healthy marriage, but there are some concerns about blood type compatibility if you’re planning to have biological children with your partner. Read on to see how blood type can affect marriages
Everybody has a blood type. There are four major blood groups:
These groups differ primarily on the presence or absence of antigens that can stimulate an immune response.
In addition to these four groups, a protein called Rh factor may be either present (+) or absent (-) within each group. This further defines blood groups into eight common types:
Your blood type is something you inherit, so it’s predetermined at birth. It cannot be changed later in life.
Compatibility in the blood group is only a concern for couples if a pregnancy is involved where both partners are the biological parents. That’s because of the RH factor.
Rh factor is an inherited protein, so being Rh negative (-) or Rh positive (+) is determined by your parents. The most common type is Rh-positive.
Being Rh positive or negative typically does not affect your health, but it could affect your pregnancy.
Rh factor can be a concern if the biological mother is Rh- and the baby is Rh+. Blood cells from an Rh+ baby crossing its Rh- mother’s bloodstream might trigger an immune response. The mother’s body might form antibodies to attack the baby’s Rh+ red blood cells. When your antibodies attack your baby's red blood cells, it destroys them. Once your baby's healthy red blood cells are destroyed, bilirubin will build up in their bloodstream and this is really harmful to the baby especially the brain. The baby who's affected would have the following:
Jaundice ( yellowing of the skin and eyes)
low muscle tone
low volume of blood
the baby could die shortly if the effects are massive
At your first prenatal visit, your doctor will suggest a blood type and Rh factor screening. If you are Rh-, your doctor will test your blood again later in your pregnancy to see if you have formed antibodies against Rh factor. That would indicate that your baby is Rh+.
If your doctor identifies a potential for Rh incompatibility, your pregnancy will be monitored closely for any related issues and may need extra care.
If your Rh compatibility has been diagnosed, your doctor will most likely recommend Rh immune globulin (RhoGAM) in your seventh month of pregnancy, and then again within 72 hours after delivery if your baby’s blood type is confirmed as Rh-positive upon delivery.
Rh immune globulin contains Rh IgG antibody, so your body does not react to your baby’s Rh-positive cells as if they were a foreign substance, and your body will not produce its own Rh antibodies.