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How Does the Rh Factor Affect Pregnancy and Abortion?

The moments following a positive pregnancy test can be a very emotional process. Initially, you may have only had to cope with the suspicion of an unexpected pregnancy. But receiving confirmation of one may have opened you to feelings of shock, confusion, anger, and fear. As you come to terms with your condition and the knowledge that you must make a choice, perhaps abortion is the decision you settled on. But as you began the process of gathering more information, perhaps you heard about something called the Rh factor. If this is your first time hearing about it, then you may be wondering what this is. How does it relate to abortion, and where you can go to ask questions about it?

Do you still have questions about your unexpected pregnancy and your potential decisions? Are you wondering how the Rh factor affects your pregnancy and abortion options? Serving women since 1981, Avenue Women’s Center has six locations in the Chicagoland area. At each of our centers, you’ll have the opportunity to meet with one of our expert pregnancy consultants. They can answer your questions and supply you with reliable information about abortion, the different types of procedures, and alternatives.

Contact us today to schedule a free appointment!

How Do I Know Abortion is the Right Unexpected Pregnancy Option for Me?

When looking into abortion as a possible decision, it’s recommended you ensure you have access to reliable information before you commit to it. If your reasoning for choosing abortion over parenting and adoption is because you feel it offers a faster, less expensive, and less emotionally strenuous solution to your pregnancy, it’s important to determine if that is the case.

None of the pregnancy options provide a simple solution. And it may not be helpful to contemplate your choices in the context of which one can be accomplished quickly. Sorting through your feelings about your condition can be hard. That’s why you may want to consider talking with a doctor, a counselor, or a pregnancy consultant before you make your choice.

As you learn more about abortion costs, your state’s laws, and the necessity of follow-up care, it’s only natural for additional questions to arise. Seeking answers to these inquires can be helpful. This can enable you to make an informed decision about what may be best for you.

What is the Rh Factor?

As you may already be aware, there are a variety of blood groups. In addition to Type A, B, and O, there’s the Rh factor. Present on the surface of red blood cells, most people have the Rh factor and are what is known as Rh-positive. But if you do not have the Rh factor, then you may be considered Rh-negative.

Is This a Condition One Inherits?

Rh factor is reported to be passed on through genetics. It’s been said that if the mother is Rh-negative and the father is Rh-positive, then a fetus can inherit the Rh gene from the father. This means they can either be Rh-positive or Rh-negative. But if both parents are Rh-negative, then it’s likely the baby will be as well.

How Does This Relate to My Pregnancy and an Abortion Decision?

If you’re Rh-negative and the fetus is Rh-positive, this is typically known as Rh incompatibility. When your blood comes in contact with the Rh-positive fetus, this can lead to the creation of antibodies to combat the Rh factor.

These Rh antibodies may damage the fetal red blood cells, causing hemolytic anemia, which typically occurs when red blood cells are destroyed faster than the body can replace them. These cells carry oxygen throughout all parts of the body. Without them, the fetus may not receive enough of it.

While these complications generally do not occur during your first pregnancy, as your body might not have developed enough antibodies, preventive treatment may still be necessary at this time. This is because later in pregnancy, your body may create more antibodies. This could potentially put your pregnancy at risk if you’re carrying an Rh-positive fetus.

These antibodies may still develop even if you have an abortion. And the procedure may carry the risk of you coming into contact with the fetus’ blood. You may want to ask your healthcare provider about potential treatment options for Rh-related problems.

What Preventive Measures May Be Necessary?

You may need to have a blood test through a healthcare provider to determine the Rh factor of your blood. If you’re contemplating abortion and your Rh factor comes back negative, then a doctor may recommend you have an Rh immunoglobin injection. This injection is typically meant to prevent the risk of your immune system attacking any future pregnancies, and the chance of your blood mixing with the fetus’ during an abortion might render this treatment necessary.

When factoring the cost of abortion into your decision, it may be a good idea to ask if they provide this injection and if there’s an additional fee for this service. If you have any other questions or concerns about your pregnancy, the Rh factor, and its effects, consider scheduling an appointment with your doctor or a pregnancy consultant to gather more information.

Are you looking for clarification about the Rh factor and how it might relate to your unexpected pregnancy? Avenue Women’s Center can serve as a reliable source of information. Our caring staff will provide you with the information you need for your next steps. Learn more about your pregnancy options of abortion, adoption, and parenting all within a safe, confidential environment.

Reach out today for an appointment at no cost!  



Reviewed by Patricia Kuenzi, APN-CNP, MSN, ANP, PNP.

The information provided here is general in nature.  It is not a substitute for a consultation with a medical professional. Before any medical procedure, it is imperative that you discuss your personal medical history, risks, and concerns with your doctor. If you have questions during or after a procedure, your doctor should be immediately contacted. Avenue Women’s Center is not an emergency center.  If you are experiencing severe symptoms, such as bleeding and/or pain, seek immediate medical attention.  Contact your physician, go to an emergency room, or call 911.