In the majority of the cases people donâ€™t really think about the Rh factor in blood except during their pregnancy. There is a blood test performed at the early stages of pregnancy and as a result you will find out about your blood group and about the Rh factor that can be positive or negative.
Information about the bloodâ€™s Rh factor
This factor has no effect on your health except during your pregnancy. You could be at risk if you have a negative factor and your partner has positive factor. This is because the baby may be Rh positive. Although the blood system of the mother is separate from the babyâ€™s blood system, the little oneâ€™s blood can enter the blood stream of the mother.
As a result, because of the difference of the Rh factor of the blood, the motherâ€™s body might start producing antibodies. As the result, the Rh positive baby can be treated as an intruder in the motherâ€™s body and it could be attacked. In this case the mother is believed to be sensitized.
If the motherâ€™s body is sensitized because of the Rh factor in blood, it will produce antibodies that will attack the babyâ€™s blood. As a result the red blood cells will be broken down and the baby will have anemia. In serious cases the baby can be affected by brain damage, illness or even death.
There are some other cases as well besides this when someone can be sensitized because of the Rh factor in the blood. These include miscarriage, blood transfusion, ectopic pregnancy, abortion and different kinds of medical procedures, like amniocentesis.
The good news about the Rh factor in blood is that it is possible to prevent the hemolytic disease in case of women who werenâ€™t sensitized. Immunoglobulin is a kind of blood product that is given through injection to the Rh negative pregnant woman and so her reactions to the blood that is Rh positive will be minimized.
The reactions to the blood product for the bloodâ€™s negative Rh factor are minimal. Sometimes it can cause a slight fever and some soreness at the injection site. The specialists recommend women to get immunoglobulin at around 28 weeks to avoid sensitization that takes place at the end of the pregnancy.
One dose of immunoglobulin lasts for about 12 weeks and when it comes to the Rh factor in blood it is important to know that the women get another dose upon the birth of the Rh positive baby. It is simple to determine the babyâ€™s Rh factor after birth using the cord blood samples.
When thinking about the negative Rh factor of blood it is important to know that the number of these cases is of 5,000 each year. A sensitized mother will be screened while being pregnant to make sure that the baby doesnâ€™t have the disease.
There is a lot to know about Rh factor in blood and this should be something to be worried about.