What Does It Mean If You Are Rh Negative When You Are Pregnant?
You found out that you were pregnant, you’re done checking blood counts and necessary determination of blood group and find out that you have Rh negative factor. You know that this can bring some complications, but you’re not exactly sure what that exactly means. In today’s article, we reveal just that – what a negative Rh factor means for you and your pregnancy.
What is a negative Rh factor?
Approximately 15% of women in the population carry it, and it is always recorded a minus sign “-” in addition to blood group. What concrete means that minus? When, for example blood group A-, minus denotes the absence of one type of protein on the red blood cells (erythrocytes), which is present in a person with blood type A +.
Rh factor is actually a protein found on the surface of red blood cells. People with positive Rh factor (about 85% of the world population) possess the protein, while those with a negative Rh factor protein does not have it.
What can be a problem during pregnancy?
If you are Rh negative, but so is your partner, there is no worry as it will and your baby has a Rh negative factor. But if you are negative, but your partner is positive, the baby can be both. The problem occurs – and it is called Rh disease when the mother is negative and the baby is positive.
Like an autoimmune disease, it happens that the mother’s organism finds these proteins in the baby’s red blood cells (Rh) and it identified as a foreign body, i.e., the infection and then it triggers a defense mechanism. Mother’s body produces antibodies to the Rh factor and throw the placenta it comes to the baby’s red blood cells and destroys the protein. This can cause effects such as anemia, jaundice, cardiac arrest, organ enlargement and the worst solution death of the baby. In the first pregnancy, there is no risk that there will be an attack on the baby’s red blood cells because in the mother’s body does not exist antibodies yet. Antibodies are formed in direct contact with mother and baby’s blood that occurs during birth or possibly throw the amniocentesis if it is done. Therefore, in women who have a negative Rh factor amniocentesis is avoided or it is been done under special circumstances.
The problem occurs in the next pregnancy, because with the first pregnancy, specifically birth in which occurred contact with the mother’s and baby’s blood and it increased the sensitivity of the mother’s body to the Rh positive factor and she made antibodies to the Rh protein. This means the following – in the first pregnancy with a Rh positive baby you will not have a problem, but in your body remains, trigger ” for the second pregnancy, because then your body will “turn on” the alarm, ” of Rh positive factor that your second baby may have it. And that can cause complications that we reported earlier.
However, if you have Rh-negative factor do not panic! This does not mean that you should not become pregnant for the second or third time. There are treatments that completely prevents the production of antibodies to the Rh factor and the risk of possible complications is reduced to a minimum. Yet this is the 21st century and medicine so is very advanced, so there is no reason to worry. The woman is treated with Rh immunoglobulin that prevents the production of antibodies that attack the red blood cells of your baby. Given the Rh factor baby does not check during pregnancy, Rh negative mothers will receive treatment in any case, regardless of whether the baby is negative or positive.
Treatment involves a single injection of Rh immunoglobulin during the 27th week of your pregnancy and the first one shortly after birth. Some doctors give the second injection only if it turns out that the baby is Rh positive, while other gives it regardless.
We hope that we have clarified what it means if you are pregnant and Rh negative and that we calm your fears. There is no reason to worry, it is only out of respect for everything you doctor recommends and prescribes as necessary.