Rh Factor & its significance in Pregnancy
The Rhesus factor, often known as the Rh factor, is a kind of protein present in blood cells throughout the body. People are either Rh-positive, indicating that they contain the protein, or Rh-negative, indicating that they do not.
If the mother is Rh-negative and the kid is Rh-positive, this should be noted. The Rh factor screening test and its significance during pregnancy will be discussed in this article.
Rhesus (Rh) factor, as previously stated, is a hereditary protein present on the surface of red blood cells. A person is Rh-positive if the protein is found in their blood. If a person’s body lacks the Rh factor, they are Rh-negative.
The most prevalent blood type is Rh-positive. Although an Rh-negative blood type is not a disease and normally has no effect on a person’s health, it might interfere with conception. If the mom is Rh-negative and the fetus is Rh-positive, the pregnancy requires special attention (Rh incompatibility).
Throughout a woman’s first prenatal appointment, doctors prescribe a blood group and Rh factor diagnostic test. It will aid in determining whether or not the Rh factor protein is present in the maternal blood cells.
Rh Incompatibility – In a Nutshell
Rh incompatibility occurs when an Rh-negative mother becomes pregnant with an Rh-positive kid. The woman’s immune system responds and produces Rh antibodies as a result of Rh incompatibility. These antibodies cause the immune system to assault the baby, which the woman’s body recognises as an invader.
When women with RhD-negative blood are exposed to RhD-positive blood, usually during pregnancy with an RhD-positive baby, their bodies respond by generating antibodies against the RhD-positive blood (infection-fighting molecules). These anti-infection molecules recognize and kill alien blood cells.
If a woman becomes sensitized, her body will create antibodies the next time she is subjected to RhD-positive blood. If a woman is pregnant with an RhD-positive kid, the antigens may cross the placenta and cause rhesus sickness in the unborn child. For a few months after delivery, the antibodies might continue to target the baby’s red blood cells.
Complications from Rh incompatibility
In a pregnant woman, Rh incompatibility has no effect. However, newborns can develop hemolytic anemia, which occurs when a baby’s red blood cells degrade faster than the doctor can replace them.
The symptoms of hemolytic anemia range from moderate to severe. Complications such as jaundice, liver failure, and heart failure are possible side effects. Depending on the severity of the problem, doctors must treat it as soon as possible.
- Treatment may not be required in moderate situations.
- In severe circumstances, doctors may propose that the newborn undergo a blood transfusion through the umbilical cord to ensure that the baby’s red blood cells are quickly replaced.
- Babies with jaundice or symptoms of an elevated bilirubin level in the blood are treated by lowering the bilirubin levels.
Determining a person’s blood compatibility requires knowing their Rh factor. This compatibility is especially important to keep in mind during pregnancy and blood transfusions.
If severe rhesus illness is not treated, it might result in stillbirth. It can also cause brain damage, eyesight trouble, hearing problems, learning problems, and eye problems in some circumstances. However, therapy is often effective, and these issues are uncommon.