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What is Rh sensitization?

ANSWER

When you’re Rh-negative, your body treats Rh-positive blood that you come in contact with as a foreign substance and builds antibodies to protect itself. This is known as Rh sensitization. Your doctor will give you a blood test at the beginning of your pregnancy to determine if you have any antibodies in your blood.

SOURCES:

Nemours Foundation: “Rh incompatibility.”

American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists: “The Rh factor: How it can affect your pregnancy.”

National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute: “How is Rh incompatibility treated?” “How is Rh incompatibility diagnosed?” “What is Rh incompatibility?” “Who is at risk for Rh incompatibility?”

Reviewed by Amita Shroff on October 30, 2018

SOURCES:

Nemours Foundation: “Rh incompatibility.”

American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists: “The Rh factor: How it can affect your pregnancy.”

National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute: “How is Rh incompatibility treated?” “How is Rh incompatibility diagnosed?” “What is Rh incompatibility?” “Who is at risk for Rh incompatibility?”

Reviewed by Amita Shroff on October 30, 2018

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What happens if your blood test shows that you are Rh-negative, and already have Rh antibodies?

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