IM.10.1.2. Rho factor

IM.10.1.2. Rho factor      

 

Rhesus (Rh) typing is used to determine whether you have a specific protein called Rh factor on the outer layer of your red blood cells. If you do not have Rh factor in your blood, you are Rh negative. If you do have Rh factor in your blood, you are Rh positive. Most people are Rh positive, but Rh negative blood types can be passed down from parents to children.

Rh typing is important during pregnancy. If you are Rh negative and your baby is Rh positive, you may have an Rh incompatibility. During pregnancy, it's possible that some of your baby's blood could pass through the placenta into your body. Your body may react to the baby's blood as a foreign substance and make antibodies against it. This can cause a miscarriage, anemia, and problems in later pregnancies. The first pregnancy is usually not affected by Rh incompatibility because the baby is often born before many of the antibodies develop. These risks can be lowered by a shot or shots of Rh immunoglobulin during each pregnancy.

You may need this test if you:

  • Are pregnant
  • Are thinking about becoming pregnant
  • Are the father of an unborn baby
  • Are Rh negative and having a baby with a man who is Rh positive
  • Need a blood transfusion
  • Are donating blood

How the test is performed: The test requires a blood sample, which is drawn through a needle from a vein in your arm.

How to prepare for the test: A blood test rarely requires any preparation. You can probably eat, drink, and take any medicine as usual, but check with your healthcare provider to be sure. Remember to tell your provider about any medicines or supplements that you take.

What do test results mean: Many things may affect your lab test results. These include the method each lab uses to do the test. Even if your test results are different from the normal value, you may not have a problem. To learn what the results mean for you, talk with your healthcare provider.

Having Rh factor in your blood means you are Rh positive. If you do not have Rh factor in your blood, you are Rh negative. If you are Rh negative and having a baby with a man who is Rh positive, you could be at risk for pregnancy complications.

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