Blood group compatibility for marriage and pregnancy

  What is a blood group?*img The human blood is is divided in different types by 'The internal society of blood transfusion'  . The ...


What is a blood group?*img

The human blood is is divided in different types by 'The internal society of blood transfusion'  . The blood groups are divided into ABO and Rh system. These are differentiated on the basis of presence or absence of antigens that are present on the blood cells.  Blood group compatibility should be considered before marriage and pregnancy.

Every individual has a major blood group.

These are the four major blood groups:

  1. A
  2. B
  3. O
  4. AB

These are the major types and depend on the presence or absence of antigen for immune response. There is also a protein called rhesus factor. This differentiates the blood group into further types. It is based on the basis of presence and absence of Rh factor. If Rh factor is present on the surface of the cell it is Rh positive and vice versa.

This further separates blood groups as

  • A+/A-
  • B+/B-
  • O+/O-
  • AB+/AB-

Rh factor and blood group does not affect your health or immunity. However, it can affect your compatibility with other blood groups . it also affects in the pregnancy.

How does blood group affect compatibility?

Blood groups are either Rh positive or Rh negative. These blood groups affect compatibility between partners . It should be an important factor to consider before marriage.

Rh +ve is the most common type of blood group. If your partner is Rh - and you are Rh + , this may lead to complications in pregnancy in the future.

Blood compatibility of fetes and the mother:*img

Rh factor is a proteins present on red blood cells. If the mother is having Rh negative blood group and if the baby is Rh positive. During pregnancy if the blood of baby comes in contact with the mothers blood, it will lead to immune response .

This immune response will be generated by the mother because mothers body cells will consider baby as a foreign body and it will attack the baby. Hence, it is essential to determine the baby's blood group in the prenatal visit itself.

If you are Rh- , the doctor will check your blood group in the later stages of pregnancy. If your blood has Rh  antibodies ,it means that your baby is Rh+. The doctor then identifies potential for Rh incompatibility. If Rh incompatibility is seen then the pregnancy is monitored closely.

Your blood and baby's blood do not mix during pregnancy. However, a little amount of your blood and your baby's blood may come in contact during delivery. This would produce Rh antibodies against Rh factor.

This wont be that much of a problem if this is you or first pregnancy. However, if you bear a Rh+ baby in subsequent pregnancy, it could be a major issue.

The Rh compatibility test is done in every pregnancy if the mother is Rh- . This is because, the incompatibility in blood group may affect the health of the baby. If the mothers body produces an immune response to the baby's blood cells. The baby's blood cells will get destroyed. In this scenario the baby should immediately get blood transfusion after delivery.

Treatment for Rh compatibility:

If the mother is diagnosed with Rh incompatibility, she is recommended Rh immune globulin the seventh month of pregnancy. The doctor gives this after 72 hrs. of delivery. This is when the baby is confirmed as Rh+

Rh immune globulin(RhoGAM) contains Rh IgG antibodies. These antibodies s will prevent the action of  mothers immune cells towards the baby's RBCs .This will prevent the body cells to identify the baby's blood cells as a foreign substance. Hence , the immune response is controlled.

Blood transfusion compatibility:*img

blood transfusion are very critical. This is because one blood group may not be compatible with the other blood group. Blood transfusions are avoided for incompatible blood groups. incompatible blood group transfusion may lead to fatal toxic reaction in the patients body.

Your partner will not be able to donate blood to you in the need of emergency, if you have incompatible blood groups. However, this may not be  deal breaker for most of the couples. This test should be done  Blood group compatibility test for couples .

American red cross has given different blood group and their compatibility as follows:

  • People having blood type AB+ are  universal recipient. It means that they can receive blood from any donor.
  • Anyone who has a O- blood type are universal donors and can donate to person of  any blood type.
  • People having Type A blood can receive blood from both A and O blood type.
  • People having blood type B can receive blood from both B and O blood type.
  • Rh+ people can receive blood from both Rh + and Rh - . However , it is not so for Rh- person . They can receive blood from Rh- person only.

If you desire to donate blood to your spouse, then find a spouse with best blood group compatibility.

Are some blood types common than others?

It might be easier to find potential partner with compatible blood type if your blood type is common. As we have seen there are so many blood groups, but some of the blood types are more common than others.

This observation was given by Stanford school of medicine:

  • Blood type O+ : O+ is the most common blood type. About 37.4% of the adult population globally has this blood type.
  • Blood type A+ is second most common. It accounts for 35.7% of the population
  • People with blood type AB+ account for 3.4% of the population.
  • Blood type B+ is present in 8.5% of the population.
  • AB+ blood type is present in 3.4 % of the population.
  • O- blood type is present in 6.6% of the population.
  • People with blood type A- account for 6.3% of the population.
  • Blood type B- accounts for 1.5% of the population.
  • Blood type AB- is the rarest of them all, accounting for only 0.6% of the total population.

However, there is one more blood group known to be the rarest of them all. It is called 'The Bombay blood group'. It was discovered in Mumbai hence the name.


It is very essential to determine blood group compatibility for marriage. This will reduce complications in pregnancy in the future. It is also important in the case of emergency , to have a partner with compatible blood group.

To avoid future complication in pregnancy for both mother and child, you should consider compatibility of  blood groups  as a criteria for choosing your spouse. Hence you consider blood group compatibility for marriage.

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Ullu Series - Dekhtey Raho: Blood group compatibility for marriage and pregnancy
Blood group compatibility for marriage and pregnancy
Ullu Series - Dekhtey Raho
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