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Rh Factor in Pregnancy

General

The overwhelming number of people (about 85%) of Rh-positive blood. This means that it contains Rh protein that is found on the surface of erythrocytes. Its presence is inherited genetically. This protein was absent in a small part of the population, called Rhesus negative. The health of people lack the Rh factor does not affect. However, during pregnancy incompatibility Rh-negative mother's blood type and Rh-positive blood of the fetus (baby may inherit the Rh factor from the father) can lead to Rh conflict. At the same Rh factor will not develop if the mother Rh-positive blood, even if the blood is Rh-negative baby.

Normally incompatibility Rh factor in the mother and the child is not dangerous for the first pregnancy, because the immune response is not very strong (although in a small percentage of cases, the problems in the last months of pregnancy can still occur). In subsequent pregnancies immune response becomes much stronger, because a mother with Rh-negative blood is produced more and more antibodies to the Rh factor, the child's blood. These antibodies through the placenta to enter the bloodstream of the fetus. This is the Rh factor - hemolytic disorder that can lead to various consequences: from disease of the newborn jaundice and the need to rely on blood transfusions to miscarriages, premature births and stillbirths. Fortunately, new therapies and new drugs greatly reduces the risk.

Causes rhesus

- Getting Rh incompatible blood fetal Rh-negative mother's blood during labor, leading to the production of antibodies and subsequent activation or immunization of the mother's body to the Rh-positive blood. If the antibodies in the blood once formed, they will be present in it during the entire life.

- Getting Rh incompatible blood fetal Rh-negative mother's blood during a miscarriage, induced abortion, ectopic pregnancy, and if in the course of pregnancy in a woman bleeding occurred or she once received Rh-positive blood transfusion. In connection with the production of antibodies there is a risk of complications during subsequent pregnancies.

- There is a small chance that the antibodies in Rh-negative women may appear during the passage of invasive prenatal tests such as amniocentesis or chorionic villus sampling. In both cases, fetal blood may mix with the blood of the mother.

Symptoms rhesus

Rh incompatibility between mother and child, without immunization leads to the Rh factor, a disease that is characterized by the following symptoms:

- The presence of antibodies in the mother's blood to the Rh factor;
- Hemolytic disease of the fetus, leading to anemia and impaired functioning of the organs;
- Jaundice in the newborn child anemia and hypoxic (associated with lack of oxygen) brain damage and heart (sometimes so severe as to lead to death).

What you can do?

As soon as possible begin to prepare for the upcoming maternity leave. When you first visit your gynecologist will make you normal in such cases, a blood test to determine your blood type (A, B, AB or O) and the presence of the Rh factor. If your blood is Rh-negative, the doctor will make analysis for the presence of antibodies to the Rh factor. Thus, it will become clear whether passed before "activation" of your immune system Rh-positive blood. Take this analysis to the 28th week of pregnancy, as around this time may begin to synthesize antibodies.

If you have Rh-negative, is not activated Rh blood, and maybe you are pregnant Rh-positive child, you should make an injection of anti-rhesus immunoglobulin in the 28th week of pregnancy. If a woman was bleeding during her pregnancy or amniocentesis was performed (prick the bubble in the water surrounding the baby), or other similar procedures, the introduction of anti-rhesus immunoglobulin performed at 7 months. Immunoglobulin is administered repeatedly for 72 hours after the birth of the child and determine the child's blood as Rh-positive. Injection of anti-rhesus immunoglobulin will not form antibodies to Rh factor, so that subsequent pregnancy will not cause complications. Do not forget about all the established terms and remind your doctor to not miss the right time.

If both you and the baby's father Rh-negative blood, tell your doctor, as the injection of anti-rhesus immunoglobulin in this case is not required.

Keep in mind that treatment with anti-rhesus immunoglobulin works well only on the pregnancy, during which it is held. Protection is given for 12-14 weeks. With each pregnancy, Rh-positive baby immunoglobulin treatment needs to be repeated. Rh-negative women should also be aware that the introduction of anti-rhesus immunoglobulin necessary after a miscarriage, ectopic pregnancy or induced abortion.

What can a doctor?

The doctor at the first visit should determine your blood type Rh factor. It can also determine fetal Rh factor using amniocentesis or chorionic villus sampling. By analyzing blood it contains Rh antibodies monitor the presence and strength of the immune response in the mother's blood is Rh-positive fetus. If the mother's blood had antibodies, the doctor begins to closely monitor the condition of the child. At the physician may be ultrasound, blood tests, mother, amniocentesis, cordocentesis.

Injection anti-rhesus immunoglobulin required time carried out, even if the antibody has been detected to prevent their formation.

If the Rh factor yet emerged, treatment may include intrauterine transfusion of blood to the fetus through the umbilical cord (cordocentesis), through which you can compensate for the effects of anemia.

Doctor will decide whether you can tell the child to term and give birth or have to stimulate premature labor.

After the birth of a child are treated with jaundice, putting the baby under special blue lights (phototherapy).