Rh antibodies testing

Rh factor is a type of protein found on the surface of red blood cells in most people. More than 85 percent of people have it; they're said to be Rh positive. Those who don't have it are said to be Rh negative.

When you're not pregnant, your Rh status has no effect on your health, and if you're Rh positive, you have no cause for concern during pregnancy either. But if you're Rh negative and your baby is Rh positive — which can happen if your partner is Rh positive — a problem called Rh incompatibility may result.

If you tested Rh negative early in your pregnancy, you can have a blood test for Rh antibodies this month, probably near the end of the month. If results show that you're not producing Rh antibodies, your health care provider can give you an injection of RhIg into a muscle, just as an insurance policy. The RhIg injection will coat any Rh-positive cells that may be floating around in your bloodstream, preventing them from being recognized as foreign. With no Rh factor to fight, antibodies won't form. Think of it as a pre-emptive strike against the formation of Rh antibodies.

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