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Blood Group Compatibility Chart for Marriage and Pregnancy

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At some point, you may have heard of blood group compatibility chart for marriage and how crucial it is for couples intending to get married. But do you know what it is and why it is so important?

It is common for couples to shy away from such a sensitive topic even though it can be very detrimental to marriages in the future. They see genotype compatibility as more important. The truth is that both are very essential to consider when preparing to get married.

How do I determine my blood group compatibility for marriage?

The first step is to find out your blood group. This can be done through a simple blood test. You can then talk to a healthcare professional for the right medical advice.

Knowing your blood group compatibility is crucial in preventing any potential health problems later on, especially as it regards childbearing. Thus, it is pertinent that you know your blood group before you get married.

What is a Blood Group?

Blood group also known as, Blood type, is the grouping or classifying of blood based on the presence or absence of certain antigens/ markers that are found on the surface of red blood cells.

The system used to group human blood into different types, based on these markers, is called ABO blood group system. There are four different ABO blood groups which are determined by the ability of an individual’s red cells to carry the A antigen, B antigen, both A and B antigens or neither.

What are the Different Blood Groups we have?

According to the National Health Services (NHS), We have 4 main blood groups:

  • A
  • B
  • AB
  • O

These genes are usually inherited from both parents. The Rhesus factor antigen (RhD) which is present (+) or absent (-) on the surface of the red blood cells further helps to divide the blood group into 8 making it look like this:

  • A+
  • A-
  • B+
  • B-
  • AB+
  • AB-
  • 0+
  • 0-

For a better understanding, below is a breakdown of what the 4 blood groups mean:

  • People of Blood group A have A antigens on their red blood cells and anti-B antibodies on their plasma.
  • People of Blood group B have B antigens on their red blood cells and anti-A antibodies on their plasma.
  • People of Blood group AB have both A and B antigens on their red blood cells and no antibodies in their plasma.
  • People of Blood group O have no antigens but have both anti-A and anti-B antibodies in their plasma.

NOTE: Among these main blood groups. the rarest blood type is the AB Negative (AB -). Population with this blood type is less than 1 percent.

Knowing your Blood Group Compatibility for Marriage

blood group compatibility chart for marriage

It is essential to know your blood group compatibility before marriage, as blood transfusions may be necessary in an emergency such as accidents or surgeries.

A person with type A blood can receive blood from a person with type O blood, but a person with type O blood cannot receive blood from a person with type A or B blood.

In some cultures, blood group compatibility is used to determine the suitability of partners to get married. Some people also do associate blood groups with specific personality traits. However, these associations are not supported or proven to be true by any recognized clinical research.

What Are the Compatible Blood Groups for Marriage?

All blood groups are compatible for marriages; the only concern should be the Rhesus factor antigens which may be a hindrance during blood donation/transfusion. It also affects the woman if she is negative and carries a Rh positive baby during pregnancy.

Furthermore, if couples are to donate blood to each other during an emergency, it is imperative to find out if their blood groups are compatible. For instance, O- blood group can donate to anybody, which makes it the universal donor.

  • Persons who belong to type A blood, should only receive types A or O blood.
  • Persons who belong to type B blood, should only receive types B or O blood.
  • Persons who belong to type AB blood, you can receive types A, B, AB, or O blood.
  • Persons who belong to type O blood, should only receive type O blood.

Why Is It Important to Know Your Blood Group Compatibility Before Marriage?

Knowing your blood group compatibility before marriage is important because it can help you avoid complications with pregnancy and childbirth. Blood group compatibility for marriage is mostly limited to possible Rh factor incompatibility during pregnancy and blood transfusions between couples.

When couples know their blood groups before marriage, Rh incompatibility can easily be monitored, and treated for positive outcomes. Rh factor compatibility shouldn’t affect your ability to have a happy, healthy marriage, or to have healthy children with your spouse.

In the event that Rh incompatibility has been diagnosed, your doctor will give you Rh immune globulin (RhoGAM) injection in the seventh month of pregnancy, and then within 72 hours after delivery if your baby’s blood group is not compatible with yours.

Blood Group Compatibility Testing for Marriage

This is a test carried out from collected blood samples to detect the antigens on the red blood cells that helps to determine a person’s blood group.

Blood group compatibility testing involves antigen/antibody reactions, which is, the ability of antibodies to cause the red blood cells (RBC) to clump and be destroyed when they bind to the antigens found on the red blood cell surface resulting in Agglutination.

In simpler terms, Blood group compatibility testing involves the ABO and RhD ( Rhesus factor).

The most popular of these are the ABO and RhD antigens  but many other blood group systems exist and may be clinically relevant in some situations. As at 2021, 43 blood groups are officially recognized.

 Antibodies of other blood group antigens, including RhD, develop after people are exposed to the antigens through blood transfusion or pregnancy. Some of these antibodies can bind to incompatible red blood cells and cause them to be destroyed, resulting in transfusion reactions and other complications.

Are there Consequences of not Knowing your Blood Group Compatibility before Marriage?

Your marriage may suffer lapses if you neglect knowing your blood group compatibility.

Some of the risks involved include:

  • Complications that arise from blood transfusions of the wrong blood type:

When ABO incompatible red cells are transfused, red blood cell haemolysis can occur. 

What this means is that, if group-A blood is given to a group-O recipient, the recipient’s anti-A antibodies bind to the transfused cells and destroy it. An ABO incompatible transfusion reaction may result in shock, renal failure & sudden death.

  • Rhesus factor incompatibility issues during pregnancy and childbirth:

Antibodies to RhD develop only after an individual is exposed to RhD antigens through blood transfusion, pregnancy or organ transplantation.

These antibodies destroy RhD positive red cells and can lead to haemolytic transfusion reactions. The clinical significance of this show in pregnancy where anti-D antibodies can cross the placenta from mother to unborn child and lead to haemolytic disease of the newborn.

What is the Purpose of a Blood Group Chart for Marriage?

A blood group chart is used to determine the blood types of two people to check whether or not they are compatible for marriage.

Below is how it looks:

The chart lists the different blood types and their compatibility.

Blood groups don’t always need to be an exact match to be compatible. For example, AB blood has both the A and B antigens, so a person with this type of blood can receive either type A or B blood.

How to Use a Blood Group Chart for Marriage Compatibility?

When using a blood group chart for marriage, you will first need to find your blood group. This can be done by taking a blood test. Once your blood group is known, you can then use the chart to find potential partners.

If you are not sure of your partner’s blood group, you can ask them to take a blood test as well.

Things to Keep in Mind When Using a Blood Group Compatibility Chart for Marriage

When using a blood group chart to assess your marital compatibility, there are a few things you should keep in mind.

  1. Remember that the chart is only a guideline. It is not 100% accurate, so don’t take it too seriously.
  2. The chart is based on generalities. It may not always be accurate in predicting how two people will get along.
  3. Be open-minded about the results.

If the chart suggests that you and your prospective spouse are not compatible, don’t write it off immediately. There may be other factors that you haven’t considered which could make a successful marriage possible.

Finally, to make a sound decision based on blood type compatibility for couples, make sure you Consult a Doctor for professional advice.

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Chioma Okwara is an Anatomist and a health content writer. She specializes in topics related to public health, mental health and infertility. Chioma is a Volunteer for Whispering Hope Africa Initiative ( WHAiafrica) where she offers her services to helping the poor in the rural areas of the Nigeria.

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