What Is Rh Factor? – Know the Truth

Although some women think that the early blood tests aren’t important because they never hear about them after they are done, before you have them you should know what is Rh factor because this is something that the doctors test for during the early stages.

Information about the Rh factor

Besides your blood group, the doctors should also know your Rh factor that is either positive or negative. Usually people are Rh positive. There is no need for people to give too much thought to this factor, because it is important only when women get pregnant.

There is a problem if the woman is Rh negative and her partner is Rh positive. As a result of the Rh factor the baby could be Rh positive. Usually the blood of the baby and the blood of the mother don’t get in contact but sometimes they do.

When thinking about what is Rh factor you should know that in this case the body of the mother could create antibodies because of the factor and the body could consider the baby an intruder. In this case, in order to avoid the possible problems, the mother will be sensitized.

Since there is a difference in the Rh factor, the body of the sensitized mother will produce antibodies. These attack the blood of the baby. The antibodies break down the blood cells of the baby and as a result, he or she could be affected by anemia. In severe cases this could lead to brain damage, illness and even death.

If you are interested in what is Rh factor you should know that sensitization could occur in different cases, such as transfusion, abortion, miscarriage, ectopic pregnancy and also during different kinds of tests, such as amniocentesis. Keep in mind that these antibodies don’t disappear.

On the bright side regarding the Rh factor, women rarely encounter problems during their first pregnancy. Nonetheless it is important to have a blood test and make sure that you give all the available information to your doctor or midwife.

Good news

In case you are thinking about what is Rh factor, you should know that the problem can be easily treated when thinking about women who haven’t been sensitized. They receive Rh immunoglobulin through an injection. This way the reaction to the Rh positive red blood cells will be minimal.

Although there is some reaction to the medication for the Rh factor usually this is minimal, like slight fever or a bit of soreness at the location of the injection. Usually women start having problems at the end of their pregnancy so the doctors suggest that they receive the medication around the 28th week of pregnancy.

The women interested in what is Rh factor should know that the effects of the medication last for about 12 weeks. In case the baby is Rh positive, the mother will receive RhIg about 72 hours after delivery as well. It is easy to determine the Rh factor of the baby using the blood of the umbilical cord.

Hemolytic disease

It is good to know about the Rh factor that there are only about 5,000 cases of this kind of disease on a yearly basis. In case the mother has been sensitized, she will be screened during her pregnancy to check whether the baby has been affected by the disease.

As you can see, it is important to ask what is Rh factor and this is something that the majority of the doctors discuss with their patients at the beginning of their pregnancy so that they will know what to expect in the future.

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