Gynecologist Advises Women With B-Negative Blood To Take Rhogam After Miscarriage

Editorial Team

A gynecologist/obstetrician, Dr Nathaniel Adewole, has urged women with B-negative blood, who have had miscarriage before to always take Rhogam, a drug, during subsequent pregnancies before delivery.

Adewole told the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) in Abuja that taking Rhogam, a special immune globulins, could help prevent rhesus incompatibility in mothers who are negative “if the father of the baby has the B-positive blood or is not known’’.

“When a woman is rhesus negative, any time there is miscarriage or delivery, it is better to give what we call anti-D to avoid sensitisation the common trade name is Rhogam  to avoid sensitisation.

Rh sensitization can occur during pregnancy if you are Rh-negative and pregnant with a developing baby (fetus) who has Rh-positive blood. In most cases, your blood will not mix with your baby's blood until delivery. It takes a while to make antibodies that can affect the baby, so during your first pregnancy, the baby probably would not be affected.

But if you get pregnant again with an Rh-positive baby, the antibodies already in your blood could attack the baby's red blood cells. This can cause the baby to have anemia, jaundice, or more serious problems. This is called Rh disease. The problems will tend to get worse with each Rh-positive pregnancy you have.

“When it comes to miscarriages and abortion there is also an element of foetus maternal blood transfer so it is advisable that after any miscarriage or abortion Rhogam should also be given.

Problems during pregnancy can occur when Rh antibodies from an Rh-sensitized woman cross the placenta and attack the blood of an Rh-positive fetus. The Rh antibodies destroy some of the fetal red blood cells. This causes hemolytic anemia, 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. 

He, however, stated that not all mothers with the B-negative blood type and who are married to husbands with the rhesus-positive blood type are predisposed to sensitisation as some of them may not be affected naturally.

“But one cannot predict, so it is better to take action when a woman is with rhesus-negative blood, so that anytime there is miscarriage or delivery Rhogam should be given,’’ he said.

Adewole, therefore, advised expectant mothers to attend ante-natal clinic always so that all necessary tests could be carried out to determine the mother’s blood group and ensure the ensure safety of the child.