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Rhesus Factor and its effect on Courtship and Marriage

Rhesus Factor and its effect on Courtship and Marriage

Rhesus Factor and its effect on Courtship and Marriage

Rhesus Factor – you might have had a lot about Rhesus Factor and this certainly will not be the last but certainly a beginning to a better understanding of its meaning and the challenges it posses to us as human.

In one of our posts, we discussed Courtship and Marriage but now, we want to connect it to Rhesus Factor with the aim of achieving the following:

  1. A Courtship and Marriage that is not hindered by poor Rhesus Factor
  2. A school of thought where people can always come to get this knowledge first hand anytime they want to know, learn and deal with issues like this.
  3. A medical guide to as many that will be interested in the future.

Let first start with a definition of Rhesus Factor by answering the question: –

What is Rhesus Factor?

Rhesus Factor is the second most important blood group system known to man that is identified by either the presence or the absence of the D-antigen better referred to as the Rh Factor (D) antigen and its protein based nature.

Despite being the second highest blood group system known to man and only second to the ABO Blood Group system, Rhesus Factor blood group system primarily houses forty nine antigens with the C-antigen, c-antigen, E-antigen, e-antigen, and D-antigen standing out as the most important, the most needed and the most valuable except that the D-antigen lies in oblivion and it’s not really there.

From the above, it is correct to say that the D-antigen or rather the Rh Factor (D) antigen takes it reality from the ABO blood group system.

For example, one is said to be RH(D) positive if the person has A positive antigen from the ABO blood group system.

If the reverse is the case here and the person has ABO blood group system where A-antigen is negative, then the RH(D) antigen is equally negative.

In other words, this is often referred to as Rh negative blood type origin


The above means that Rhesus factor is clearly defined by either the presence or the absence of the RH(D) antigen.


rhesus factor

RH+ or RH-


What is the Origin of Rhesus Factor?

RH was discovered by the duo Karl Landsteiner and Alexander S. Wiener in the year 1937. Their thesis at that time is that RH is the same with the antigen found in the Red Blood cells of Macaca Fascicularis (Monkey).

With more research, it was discovered that the two antigens are different but by then, the word Rhesus Factor (RH) has gained accent in the tongues many and in the science world.

Rhesus Factor and its effect on Courtship and Marriage

In Nigeria and many parts of the world, marriages are not sealed between two couples without proper medical tests conducted.

The tests usually conducted are:

  1. Acquired Immune Deficiency Syndrome (AIDS) and HIV
  2. Blood Group and Genotype
  3. Hepatitis B and C
  4. Many others

The pain in these tests is that no matter how strong love can be, it often bows to these test where the test proves that the marriage and the love cannot go on.

If the marriage dare goes on against the provisions of these tests, catastrophe may be born. The major catastrophes are:

  1. Giving birth to kids with Sickle Cell Anemia
  2. Hemolytic Disaster of the Fetus or erythroblastosis Foetalis.

This has made many marriages to stop irrespective of the feelings the couples involved has for each other. This answers in part the question what does Rhesus factor do?

The above explanations and analyses can also be viewed as Rh factor explained and what does Rh+ mean?


Other things Rhesus Factor does:

In this section, we will deal with the practical things RH does when carelessness takes over caution in Courtship and Marriage.

The first of it is answered in the question below:

How does the rhesus factor affect pregnancy?

I know that you have heard stories that Rhesus factor can be dangerous to the fetus if the RH blood group matching favors the odd.

This claim is actually true but it is equally preventable.

The RH danger does not lie with the woman being an Rh positive mother but it solely lies with the man being an Rh positive father when the woman is an Rh Negative mother

RH positive mother is a mother whose RH (D) antigen is positive because she is A positive based on the ABO blood group system.

After conception, the fetus in the womb exit in a world quite different from the world of the mother which makes such fetus to have it own blood group and many others things different from that of the mother.

Not minding the above, exception happens sometimes. This exception is that sometimes, the mother’s blood and body fluids can cross through the placenta to the fetal system.

Due to the fact that the mother is RH negative, it will treat the blood cells of the fetus as a foreign substance by forming antibodies against it which will end up attacking it too.

This attack will certainly destroy the red blood cells in what is called Hemolytic Disaster of the Fetus or erythroblastosis Foetalis which deplete blood oxygen and causes Anemia.

This leads to giving birth to stillbirths or a child that may die shortly after birth due to mixture of the mother’s blood and that of the fetus during birth.

When a fully developed fetus is dead due in the womb either due to RH factor or other issues, the following will be observed:

  1. The heartbeat of the child will stop and could not be read again.
  2. The motion of the child in the womb will stop too.
  3. Discomfort will set in on the mother
  4. Death of mother will eventually come if this is not handled in time because the child will start decaying in the womb.

Where the death of the child in the womb is as a result of RH issues, it is generally referred to as Rh negative miscarriage and it purely answers the question can Rh negative cause miscarriage?


This also addresses the inquiry on what is rhesus factor incompatibility? This is because all these happen because the RH factors of the mother and the son don’t match. Simply put; they are incompatible.

To avoid this, the outcome of the blood group test must be strictly adhered to. Where the two couples are said to be incompatible then the marriage must not be allowed to hold or better still, the marriage should be advised against.

Going against such advice is usually at the couples risk and also at the risk of the child’s death which is seen as wickedness on the side of the couples.

Which sensible couple will risk the well being of their unborn child because of feelings? It may be a difficult thing but if you love your kid, then you must quit such marriage because without much medical expertise, it will only give you stillborns which might even frustrate the marriage and cause divorce.

I believe that from the above, you can now see the answer to what does the rhesus factor do?


However, there is a clinical solution to this. Before we head to the clinical solution, we have to clear the air on certain ambiguity many have put themselves in with regards to RH issues.

There is no issue with what happens when mother is Rh positive and the baby is Rh negative?

It has no compatibility consequences.


rhesus factor

Preventive measures to RH


Clinical Solution to RH Incompatibility:

Recall that the problem lies with the woman being RH negative which could lead to a possible damage of the red blood cell of the fetus.

This is so because, as we maintained earlier, the RH negative antigen will form antibodies against the  Rhpositive blood of the fetus which will eventually attack the red blood cells as described above.

Hemolytic disaster is what sets in if this is not handled. For it to be settled, a shot of RhoGAM injection must be administered 28 weeks after conception and 72 hours after child delivery because by that time direct exposure had happened.

The 72 hours is actually from the time of exposure counting till it elapses.

The RhoGAM (Rho(D) immune globulin) prevents the body of an RH negative Mother from making Rh antibodies against the red blood cells of the fetus.

This injection prevents hemolytic disaster from happening and it is a well trusted drug that has been in use over the years for RH Negative pregnant women.

rhesus factor

Laboratory Test


Laboratory Tests for RH Factor:

Rhesus Factor has many ways of being detected clinically but the more traditional way still serves the purpose till date.

This traditional way involves making antiserum of the blood samples. When this is applied to a red cell, it causes hemolytic issues and the agglutination of the red blood cell if it is RH+ but when if it is RH- then nothing happens.

This is also how do you know your Rhesus factor?



Rhesus Factor is a real deal but it is preventable. Do not allow emotions to overshadow reality.

Do not ignore proper laboratory diagnosis because feelings or love. When one eventual bears a child with sickle cell anemia or a stillborn due to hemolytic disaster, you would definitely query that love a million times.

Love is real but reality of life is more real. Let our love be reasonable

Finally approach issues of life and death with the head and not the heart for the head approach issues from the point of reality while the heart approach issues from the point of emotions.

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