Blood test for antibodies during pregnancy

Why does pregnancy require an antibody test?

Pregnancy and antibodies

Probably many people know that in addition to the blood group, there is also its Rh factor. It happens to be positive or negative. And if the future mother with a fetus is different, the problems can be quite serious. Complexities appear in the case if she has a negative Rh, and the future baby has a positive one. Then through the placenta there is a process of mixing the blood, and the mother will receive positive blood cells of the baby. The female immune system perceives them as dangerous foreign agents. Therefore, the development of antibodies, which enter into battle with them, begins. Further, a whole complex of measures is carried out, so that a woman could normally give birth to a healthy baby.

Identify and prevent

Gynecologists always emphasize on the fact that pregnancy is planned and pre-established by the Rh factor of the future father and mother. If a woman's Rh factor is negative, then she needs to be registered no later than 7-8 weeks of pregnancy. An observing gynecologist to such a mother will immediately appoint a special blood test - to detect Rh antibodies and their number. This is called antibody titre. If the result of the antibody test does not show, then the next time you will have to pass a similar analysis at the 18-20 week deadline. If this time also Rh-antibodies will be absent, then at the 28-week gestation period, a special drug is introduced that prevents the development of antibodies in her blood. It is called an antiresusive immunoglobulin. After its introduction, the woman's blood does not examine the antibody more.

If the antibody after the first such study is found, or the woman has a second pregnancy, and at the first anti-insulin immunoglobulin was not administered, in the past there were miscarriages, abortions, the woman will need to determine the antibody titer every month until the 32nd week term. Further up to the 35th analysis will have to be taken twice a month, until delivery - weekly.

So, at the first detection of antibodies in the blood, the expectant mother can send for examination to a clinic that specializes in the problem of Rh-conflict or separation of pathology in the maternity hospital.

When antibodies are not detected, the woman continues to be observed in the same women's clinic and surrenders blood at the appropriate time. After the birth of the child, the umbilical cord blood analysis is done directly in the delivery room to determine its Rh factor.

If he turns out to be Rh-negative, like his mother, there is no risk for the development of hemolytic disease. When his blood has a positive rhesus, the mother gives another dose of immunoglobulin. This ensures the prevention of Rh-conflict for subsequent pregnancies. The drug, as a rule, is administered within two days after delivery. A woman should take an interest in the Rh factor of her baby, and if he is positive, then find out if she has received an immunoglobulin.

How to defeat hemolytic disease of the fetus

If the number of antibodies increases in the blood of the unborn child, then the situation is serious. In such cases, they speak of hemolytic disease of the fetus. A pregnant woman is usually hospitalized in the department of pathology of the maternity hospital or a special clinic. There are additional examinations. With the help of ultrasound, dopplerometry and cardiotocography, the fetus is diagnosed. Usually, the attack of maternal antibodies causes a thickening of the placenta, an increase in the amount of fetal water, an increase in the future child of the spleen and liver. This condition is revealed just on ultrasound. Doppler and cardiotocography make it possible to make a functional assessment of the fetus, that is, to monitor its state of health.

With a rapid increase in the number of antibodies and fetal suffering, a cordocentesis is performed. The procedure is the introduction of a needle into the umbilical cord and intrauterine blood transfusion to a future baby. Such an exercise weakens the immune response of the organism of the future mother and allows to achieve reduction of the number of Rh-positive red blood cells. After the cordocentesis the fetal condition improves, and the woman safely wears out the pregnancy. Intrauterine blood transfusions are allowed until the 34th week of pregnancy.

Read more: