Rh Sensitization During Pregnancy
What Increases Your Risk
Rh sensitization can occur when a person with Reference Rh-negative blood Opens New Window is exposed to Rh-positive blood. During pregnancy, an Rh-negative woman can become sensitized if she is carrying an Rh-positive fetus.
Things that increase the risk of blood mixing and sensitization during pregnancy include:Reference 2
- Abdominal trauma, such as from a car accident.
- Abdominal surgery, such as a Reference cesarean section Opens New Window.
- Reference Placenta abruptio Opens New Window or Reference placenta previa Opens New Window, both of which can cause placental bleeding.
- Reference External cephalic version for a Reference breech Opens New Window fetus.
- Obstetric procedures such as Reference amniocentesis Opens New Window, fetal blood sampling, or Reference chorionic villus sampling (CVS) Opens New Window.
- Reference Miscarriage Opens New Window (spontaneous abortion), Reference ectopic pregnancy Opens New Window, or elective abortion (medical or surgical abortion) after 8 weeks of fetal age (when fetal blood cell production begins).
- Reference Partial molar pregnancy Opens New Window involving fetal growth beyond 8 weeks.
Although rare, Rh sensitization has been known to occur after needle sharing between intravenous drug users. Transfusing Rh-positive blood in an Rh-negative person can also trigger sensitization. But this is extremely rare because blood is always tested prior to transfusion.
|By:||Reference Healthwise Staff||Last Revised: Reference October 20, 2011|
|Medical Review:||Reference Sarah Marshall, MD - Family Medicine
Reference William Gilbert, MD - Maternal and Fetal Medicine