Blood group incompatibility can neither stop marriage nor prevent conception in rhesus negative women, says Nathaniel Adewole, a gynaecologist/obstetrician, University of Abuja Teaching Hospital, Gwagwalada.
In an interview with NAN on Thursday, Adewole said blood group does not affect marriage, saying only genotype does.
He explained that blood group incompatibility among couples was not a risk factor for infertility, but certain steps must be taken during pregnancy to prevent still birth or miscarriage.
“If a woman is rhesus negative and marries a man that is rhesus positive there is a possibility that the baby conceived will be rhesus positive,” he said.
“When a baby is rhesus positive he or she will sensitise the woman thereby causing the woman to develop antibody against any other pregnancy.
“Usually is not the first pregnancy that will be affected, but the subsequent pregnancies.
“If the woman is sensitised, it means that anytime she conceives and the baby is rhesus positive the antigen from the woman will diffuse to the foetus blood and cause destruction of the red blood cells (haemolysis).”
Adewole said when this happened and proper action was not taken the baby might die in the uterus (womb) because the woman has been sensitised.
He, however, noted that not all negative mothers who married rhesus positive husbands would be sensitised as some of them naturally might not be affected.
“But one cannot predict so it is better to give Rhogam anytime a rhesus negative woman had miscarriage or deliver a baby within 72 hours of delivery to avoid sensitisation,” he said.
Rhogam is a special immune globulins used to prevent rhesus incompatibility in mothers who are negative, if the father of the baby is positive or not known.
Adewole, nevertheless, advised expectant mothers to attend ante-natal clinic for necessary test to detect if the mother is negative and necessary steps taken to ensure safety of the child.
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