Some of you may have the same question in mind and are worried that you may not be able to have children as a result of an Rh incompatibility with your partner.
Or some of you are in doubt of the Rho (D) Immune Globulin injection for its side effects. To enlighten these concerns here are some facts for you to think of, even if you are only suspecting an Rh incompatibility with your partner.
Rh or “Rhesus factor” was first discovered in the blood of monkeys in India.
An antigen which is foreign to the human body, so once a person is exposed to it he will produce antibodies to get rid of the Rh antigen.
A person with the antigen in the blood is considered Rh positive and a person who does not have it is Rh negative.
In cases of Rh incompatibility between partners, the first born child is not affected and will live. If the pregnancy is healthy no problem exists because the blood of the mother and the baby are totally separate and do not get mixed.
But, the problem exists during labor and delivery when the mother gets exposed with the blood of the child that will stimulate her to produce the antibodies against the Rh positive blood of the child.
As a result of this a bigger problem will take place when the second, third, fourth and so on pregnancy is conceived. The mother’s antibodies will now try to get rid of the succeeding pregnancies.
To counter this unlikely event a RhoGAM or Rho (D) Immune Globulin shot is given to the mother to prevent her antibodies to build up, first during early pregnancy and another one before delivery.
Now given these facts, you might be asking if this is safe for you or for your baby. To answer your concerns here are a list of some of the benefits and risks of having the Rhogam administration:
- The introduction of RhoGAM has significantly decreased the rate of morbidity and mortality among infants with hemolytic diseases like Erytroblastosis Fetalis (destruction of RBC’s in the infant’s blood).
- It has reduced the number of infants with crippling birth defects as a result of the antigen-antibody reaction between mother and child.
- It has reduced the incidence of newborn conditions like jaundice and anemia.
- Rho (D) Immune Globulin is made from human plasma which poses a risk of transmitting to you infectious diseases like HIV and various viral Hepatitis infections.
- A few cases of hypersensitivity reaction have been recorded such as generalized itchiness, shortness of breath, wheezing, hypotension and in some cases anaphylaxis.
- Adverse reactions such as swelling, redness, pain, chills, swelling of the hands and feet, muscle pains, vomiting and in some, cases of increased temperature.
A growing concern among pregnant women today is its safety and the need for administration during pregnancy and not just after delivery to lessen the risks to the firstborn child.
If you are in doubt, it would be helpful to discuss further all your concerns and questions with your health provider and not just rely on what you read as this is a personal matter that needs to be dealt with on a personal level.