Rhesus conflict during pregnancy

Rhesus conflict during pregnancy - what is it and what is dangerous?

Briefly about the Rh-conflict

The majority of the world's population (85%) has Rh-positive blood. This means that it has a specific protein on the surface of the red blood cells. But 15% of people do not have it. Then doctors say that a person is a carrier of Rh-negative blood. Note that the absence of a specific protein absolutely does not affect the health and well-being of a person.

If, in pregnancy, the mother has Rhesus-negative blood, and the fetus Rh-positive, that is, inherited from the father, then the Rhesus-conflict can develop. This does not happen, when the future mother has a rhesus-positive blood, and the future child has the opposite. The essence of the conflict is that the mother produces antibodies to the Rh factor of the fetus. They reach the future baby through the placenta. Such a rhesus-conflict or, as it is also called, hemolytic disorder can lead to serious consequences. It is about the disease of newborn jaundice and the need for blood transfusion; stillbirth; the birth of premature babies as a result of premature birth. Practice shows that at first pregnancy incompatibility with Rh factor is not dangerous. After all, the immune response, that is, the amount of antibodies formed, is not very large. But in the second and subsequent pregnancies, they produce much more, which increases the risk of complications of gestation.

How can the situation be secured?

So, we must prepare in advance for the upcoming pregnancy. If you know that you have Rh-negative blood, then you need to do an analysis for the presence of antibodies to the Rh factor in the blood. Then it becomes clear whether your immune system was activated with Rh-positive blood. Such a study is conducted before the 28th week of pregnancy, because just at this time the synthesis of antibodies can begin.

If your blood is Rh-negative, not activated by antibodies, maybe you are pregnant with a Rh-positive baby. Then you will be injected with an antiresusive immunoglobulin at about 28 weeks.

When in the period of gestation the woman had hemorrhages or she had an amniocentesis (injection into the bladder surrounding the fetus), then antiresusnogo immunoglobulin is administered at 7 months of pregnancy, again within three days after the birth of the baby and diagnosis of his Rh positive blood. The introduction of immunoglobulin will not allow the formation of antibodies to the Rh factor. Protection lasts 12-14 weeks. Thanks to this injection, subsequent pregnancies will not cause any complications.

If your partner and you have Rh-negative blood, you need to inform the observing gynecologist about it. In this case, the introduction of an antiresusive immunoglobulin is not needed. Such injections are mandatory in obstetric practice after abortions, miscarriages, ectopic pregnancies.

An obstetrician-gynecologist who observes a woman can determine the Rh factor of a future child with the help of amniocentesis or a chorionic biopsy. Analyzes of the blood of a pregnant woman for the presence of antiresusnye antibodies in her allow you to track the strength of her immune response to the Rh-positive blood of the baby's future. When antibodies are detected, the doctor more closely and more often observes the fetal condition. That is, a specialist can prescribe an additional ultrasound study, blood tests of the mother.

If a rhesus-conflict occurs, the treatment may include a cordocentesis - intrauterine blood transfusion to the future child through the umbilical cord. This manipulation makes it possible to compensate for the phenomenon of anemia. The gynecologist observes the patient by the results of monitoring the patient, whether the woman will be able to deliver the baby before the due date or it is necessary to stimulate premature birth.

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