Rh Sensitization During Pregnancy (cont.)
IN THIS ARTICLE
When To Call a Doctor
If you are already Rh-sensitized and are pregnant
Your pregnancy will be closely monitored. Discuss possible symptoms early in pregnancy with your doctor. Repeated diagnostic testing will be needed to watch the fetus.
Call your doctor immediately if you note a decrease in your fetus's movement after 24 to 26 weeks of pregnancy.
If you are Rh-negative
Call your doctor immediately if you:
Who to see
A woman who may have problems with Rh incompatibility or sensitization can be treated by:
If you test positive for Rh sensitization, your health care system or health professional may want you to be followed and treated by a perinatologist or an obstetrician who can easily call in a perinatologist.
To prepare for your appointment, see the topic Making the Most of Your Appointment.
Exams and Tests
If you are pregnant, you will have your first prenatal tests during your first trimester. Every woman has her blood tested at the first prenatal visit to see what her blood type is. If your blood is Rh-negative, it will also be tested for antibodies to Rh-positive blood. If you have antibodies, that means that you have been sensitized to Rh-positive blood. The antibodies can now kill Rh-positive red blood cells.
If you are Rh-negative and your partner is Rh-positive, your fetus is likely to be Rh-positive.
If you are pregnant or have miscarried, or if you have had an elective abortion, a partial molar pregnancy, or an ectopic pregnancy, you will need testing to see if you have been sensitized to Rh-positive blood.
If you are Rh-negative
All pregnant women have an indirect Coombs' test during early pregnancy.
If you are sensitized to the Rh factor
If you are already Rh-sensitized or become sensitized while pregnant, close monitoring is important to determine whether your fetus is being harmed.
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