Rhesus Factor

Rhesus Factor

You hear of some people that have a successful abortion. What made it successfully really? because they didn’t die? Not everyone dies as a result of abortion.

” I can always be part of those people that won’t die after an abortion if I go to a doctor that have successful history of carrying out abortion on patients” Oh yes, that is quite an intelligent thought and a good strategy.You may not be aware that there are more debilitating factor asides from the risk of death as a result of abortion.

After so many years of getting away with the  assumed successful abortion because you are still alive, you are now happily and legally married and can now conceive with pride and without shame, and do not have any reason to abort. Do you know you know that you are at risk of experiencing miscarriages, and the fetus stands the risk of having “hemolytic anaemia and may not survive. Here is what you did not know.

The Rh factor. Rh stands for Rhesus. The Rh factor is a protein that is present on the surface of red blood cells. Some people have Rh factor, they are Rh positive while others do not have it, they are Rh negative. Rh factor is inherited. It is passed down from a parent to the children. For example, if the mother is  Rh negative and the father is Rh positive, the fetus can either inherit the father’s or mother’s factor. If the mother and the father are both Rh negative, the baby can never be Rh positive, the fetus will be Rh negative as well. The Rh factor can cause problems if you are Rh negative and your baby is Rh positive. This called Rh incompatibility. This is because when the Rh negative mother’s blood comes into contact with blood from her Rh positive fetus, it causes the Rh negative mother to make antibodies against the Rh positive fetus. These antibodies attack the Rh factor (positive) of the fetus as if it were a harmful substance. Serious problems usually do not occur if it is the mother’s first pregnancy. This is because the baby is often born before the woman’s body, develops many antibodies. If preventive treatment is not given during the first pregnancy and the woman later becomes pregnant again with an Rh positive fetus, the baby is at risk of Rh disease.

During abortion most  young teenage women do not have an awareness of the Rh factor. If unfortunately they are Rh negative and the fetus is Rh positive and they do not take treatment measures to prevent the mother from producing antibodies, if she later gets pregnant again with another Rh positive fetus after many years, this baby would have Rh disease because of her ignorance of Rh factor when she was aborting.

The antibodies by the woman cross the placenta and attack the blood of the fetus, destroys some of the fetal red blood cells. This causes “Hemolytic anemia for the fetus, where red blood cells are destroyed faster than the body can replace them. Red blood cells carry oxygen to all parts of the body. without enough red blood cells, the fetus will not get enough oxygen which can result to its death.

You can consult a gynaecologist and an obstetrician if you have undergone an abortion and you are not sure of your Rh factor for help.

If you know your blood group, then it is easy to know your Rh factor. If you are O+ then your Rh factor is Rh positive and if you are O- then your Rh factor is Rh negative.


American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists

Mayo Clinic

Glossary of terms

  1. Antibodies– proteins in the blood produced in reaction to foreign substances introduced in the body such as bacteria, virus that can cause infection
  2. Fetus- the developing organism in the uterus from the ninth week of pregnancy until the end of pregnancy that we call a baby after is  released from the womb during birth
  3. Hemolytic Anemia– Anemia caused by the destruction of Red blood cells
  4. Genes– segments of DNA that contain instruction for the development of a person’s physical traits and control of the processes in the body. They are the basic unit of heredity and can be passed down from parent to offspring
  5. Rh Factor: A protein that can be present on the surface of the Red blood cell.

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