Your spontaneous miscarriages might be as a result of Rhesus factor
In many African cultures, up until date, women who have series of spontaneous miscarriage are considered witches who eat their babies.
In fact, some women even suspect family and friends to be behind their predicament. Sadly, this is not so.
Many times, spontaneous miscarriages are cases of Rhesus factor.
What is Rhesus factor? And how does it affect you?
A pharmacist, Adanma Doreen gives us insight into this issue and how it can be tackled.
RHESUS factor incompatibility is a leading cause of miscarriage. RHESUS factor is an antigen that exists on the surface of red blood cell in most people (about 85% of humans).
It’s also referred to as Rh Factor. People who have the Rh “postive” (+) blood types, such as A+, O+ or B+ are said to be Rhesus factor positive while those who have Rh “negative” (-) blood types such as A-, O-, AB-, are said to be Rhesus factor negative.
Antigen – A toxin or other foreign substance which induces an immune response in the body, especially the production of antibodies. The “+” and “-“ in front of the blood group is the Rhesus Factor. Generally we have A+, A-,B+, B-,AB+, AB-,O+ and O- .
Rhesus factors are genetic in nature. It is inherited from the parents, empathically the father. How Rhesus Factor causes miscarriage If an Rh- woman is impregnated by an Rh- man, there will be no problem. However, if a Rh- woman is impregnated by an Rh+ man, there will be aproblem if the baby inherits Rh+ from the father.
This will result in something called Rhesus factor incompatibility. The baby will be Rh+. During childbirth, once the baby’s Rh+ comes in contact with the mother’s Rh- during delivery, the antibodies are immediately activated by the woman’s body’s immune system.
The activated antibodies will see the new Rh+ as foreign body or a threat and consequently they will be at alert to attack and get rid of the foreign body.
Unfortunately as such, after this particular childbirth, the woman would keep having miscarriages because the activated antibodies would be see subsequent Rh+ pregnancies as foreign bodies and would keep fighting and taking them off.
Women with Rh activated antibodies are said to be Rh sensitized and once antibodies are activated, they can never be deactivated until the woman dies. Rh induced antibodies are activated in a Rh- woman by childbirth, miscarriage, abortion and ectopic pregnancy.
if a Rh- woman has an abortion for a Rh+ man and the antibodies are activated in her system, the woman might end up childless throughout her life except if she marries another man with the same Rh-.
The possibility of the Rh- woman finding a Rh man is slim as about 85% of humans are Rh+. Also get valid information before getting an abortion. If you are a Rh- woman and your fiancé is Rh+ and you haven’t committed an abortion for him then you need to take note of the following.
In order to prevent activation of antibodies, doctors will give women in this category an injection called Rhogam during and after pregnancy to prevent spontaneous abortion due to Rh incompatibility factor. The injection is normally administered at 28 weeks into the pregnancy, 72 hours after childbirth, after ectopic pregnancy, miscarriage or abortion.
Remember if injections are not administered and the antibodies are activated, they can never be deactivated again.
So if you are a woman with Rh-, be careful as it may be difficult to find an Rh- husband (as 85% of humans are Rh+). In order not to find yourself in the aforementioned problem, put all that I have said at the back of your mind and go for genetic counseling.
If you have a sister, niece or cousin with Rh- ; kindly educate them or direct them to this tweet. It should also be noted that a Rh- person(man or woman) cannot receive blood from a Rh+ person if even they have the same blood group The consequence of such blood transfusion will be fatal.
It would lead to death as the blood will clot. This is due to Rhesus incompatibility factor.