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Knowing Your Blood Type - Why It's Important for Pregnancy and If You're Considering the Abortion Pill

Do you think you might be pregnant or have had a positive pregnancy test at home? Are you considering the abortion pill? There are many things to know and consider before making a decision. Your blood type and specifically your Rh factor is one of them.

What is blood type?

A blood type is a classification system based on whether or not there are certain substances on the surface of red blood cells. Blood types include A, B, AB, and O.  Blood is also tested for a certain protein called the Rh factor. Your blood type is positive (+) if you have this protein and negative (-) if you don’t have the protein. 

Why does blood type matter during pregnancy?

When the blood of an Rh-positive fetus gets into the blood of an Rh-negative woman, her body will recognize that it does not belong and will create antibodies to fight it. This is called Rh incompatibility. Women with an Rh-negative blood type are in need of a special shot, Rho(D) Immune Globulin (RhoGAM or Rhophylac) any time there is a possibility that the fetus’s blood could mix with hers, such as during:

  • Miscarriage

  • Ectopic pregnancy

  • Birth

  • Medical or surgical abortion

  • Bleeding during pregnancy

  • Amniocentesis or chorionic villus sampling

  • Abdominal trauma

How does treatment work?

Rho(D) Immune Globulin (RhoGAM or Rhophylac) works by inhibiting the woman’s body from creating antibodies against the fetus’s positive blood. Having this shot at the time of a current pregnancy is necessary to prevent problems with future pregnancies . Without the medication, the antibodies created in a woman’s body will remain in the bloodstream and can affect future pregnancy by causing serious anemia. This can destroy red blood cells faster than the fetus can replace them, which can result in permanent disability or death in the fetus.

If I am Rh negative, would I have an Rh positive fetus?

Did you know that 85% of people have Rh positive blood? That leaves only 15% of the population having a negative blood type. Why does it matter? It matters because the likelihood that a woman with Rh negative blood might carry a child with Rh positive blood is quite high. Not knowing your blood type and taking the abortion pill could therefore jeopardize any future pregnancies you may have. Your medical provider can order the blood test and the medication for you if needed. 

What Should I Do if I’m Rh-negative and Have Had an Abortion? 

If your pregnancy had Rh incompatibility, then Rh-sensitization has likely already occurred. Always let your physician know your pregnancy and abortion history so they can monitor for any problems. 

Knowing your blood type is just one of the important things to know before you take the abortion pill

Her Health Women’s Center offers pregnancy tests and ultrasounds at no cost to you. Ultrasound results will measure such factors as the location, gestational age, and viability of your pregnancy. That information is important to know because some abortion procedures are only available at certain stages of pregnancy. The ultrasound provides you with an accurate measurement so you can make the best and the safest decision for you. 

We are here for you.

Disclaimer: The content of this blog is meant to be used for informational purposes and is not a substitute for medical care. The sources cited for this blog are found to be reliable, however, Her Health Women’s Center can not endorse or oppose the entire content of the websites listed.


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