Early on in your pregnancy, you will be given a blood test to determine if you are Rh-positive or Rh-negative. Rhesus, or rh, is a protein found on the red blood cells of around 85 percent of all individuals. Human Rh-positive individuals are carriers of the protein, whereas human Rh-negative individuals are not carriers of this protein.
The relevance of the rhesus protein is only realized when you are expecting your second or subsequent child. Read on to learn more about why you might need a RhoGAM injection and what to expect during your procedure.
How does a rhesus protein test affect pregnant women and why is it done?
A mother who is Rh-negative and a fetus who is Rh-positive come into touch with each other throughout the first trimester of pregnancy, resulting in the formation of antibodies. An antibody is a type of soldier cell that defends the body against intruders and other harmful substances. In the event that you are exposed to an antigen for the first time, your immune system will be prepared to combat the threat.
The fact that you're pregnant for the first time means that your Rh factor isn't a concern because your body doesn't have to make it. Before the second and subsequent pregnancies, when antibodies have developed, Rh incompatibility isn't a major worry. In fact, antibodies have been shown to cross the placenta and attack the red blood cells of your child. If this happens to your kid, it might cause anemia, which in severe cases can result in miscarriage.
Because you and your baby do not share a circulatory system, there are only a few occasions throughout pregnancy when fetal blood can come into contact with maternal blood. Cross-contamination can occur after an early pregnancy hemorrhage, procedures such as amniocentesis or CVS (choronic villus sampling), direct abdominal trauma, ectopic pregnancy, miscarriage, or blood transfusion with a mismatched blood type.
Rh-negative women should be treated with Rh immunoglobulin if bleeding occurs, according to Dr. Prince, in order to prevent the formation of antibodies. To overcome Rh incompatibility, RhoGAM injections are provided for pregnant women.
RhoGAM, an injection of antibodies known as immunoglobulin, protects a fetus from antibodies produced by its mother. According to the product website, "RhoGAM prevents the Rh-negative lady from developing antibodies while she is pregnant." Anemia in children born to Rh-negative moms who take RhoGAM during each pregnancy is exceedingly rare.
An immunoglobulin, or antibodies created by the mother's body, that will attach to the rhesus protein in her blood and block her body from processing or seeing the protein in order to begin producing her antibodies is RhoGAM, according to a Dallas-based OB/GYN who spoke with Parents.com. In the absence of a placenta, there is no harm to the fetus from RhoGam exposure."
What stage of a woman's reproductive life does the RhoGAM Injection take place in?
In Dr. Chhutani's opinion, when administered around 28 weeks of pregnancy, "Around 12 weeks are required to fully recover from the injections' effects. If the baby is Rh-positive at the time of birth, the mother will be given a second dose of RhoGAM." When a mother's blood gets contaminated by the baby's blood during the birthing process, one last injection is given to protect her. Using an immunoglobulin injection as a last resort, it is possible to avoid antibodies that might put future pregnancies at danger."
In what ways does RhoGAM have negative impacts on your body?
RhoGAM side effects are generally mild and do not cause harm to the newborn or interfere with breastfeeding. Itching at the injection site, a minor temperature, and/or edema are all possible adverse effects of this medication. Exhaustion is a less common side effect, as are allergic reactions, headaches, joint or muscle soreness, and fatigue. Any of these symptoms should prompt you to consult with your physician.