Thalassemia is a term given to blood disease, which is characterized by the production of abnormal hemoglobin and blood cells. It causes anemia in the body which may require a regular blood transfusion. Its symptoms include extreme tiredness, dark urine, jaundice, shortness of birth and other. Women with thalassemia who need frequent blood transfusions have the risk of developing infertility due to an overload of iron.

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Can You Have A Baby If You Have Thalassemia?

Some women with mild or moderate thalassemia can conceive and have a baby. Modern developments in medical science have made pregnancy possible for women with thalassemia.

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Females with thalassemia who undergo regular blood transfusion face lots of problems related to the reproductive system. It is caused due to an overload of iron in the body. It affects the reproductive system of the females. It results in delayed puberty and primary or secondary amenorrhea. It influences the hypothalamus-pituitary axis that regulates the secretion of hormones related to reproduction.

Fertility is determined by normal production of LH, FSH, T4, TSH, ACTH, and estradiol in women. If its levels are inappropriate during puberty, and then it delays the feminine and reproductive changes during puberty. If the levels of LH and FSH are increased than normal, then women develop ovarian failure. If LH, FSH, and estradiol are low, then there is a chance of hypothalamic or pituitary or secondary failure. This may cause failure of ovaries.

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In the past time, pregnancy was relatively uncommon in thalassemic women who require a regular blood transfusion. Such women were discouraged due to high risk of cardiac failure as a complication in pregnancy. It is important that the thalassemic women should be given optimal transfusion therapy and proper iron control to ensure a safe pregnancy. Modern techniques in medical science have reduced the risk of pregnancy in them. If you have thalassemia, then you can have a safe pregnancy. But there is a chance that the baby born is normal, thalassemic or carrier of the disease.

If both the parents are a carrier of thalassemia, then there is

  • 25% chances that child born will have the disease.
  • 50% chances that the child born will be a carrier of the disease
  • 25% chances that the child born will neither have the disease nor will be a carrier of the disease.

If one parent is carrier alpha thalassemia and another one is the carrier of beta thalassemia, then the child born will not have any of the traits. In such condition, there are very less chances their child will have beta thalassemia. If one of the parents is suffering from thalassemia and other is a carrier, then there is a possibility that their child will have the disease too.

Thalassemia is a genetic blood disorder which disturbs the levels of red blood cells and hemoglobin in the body. It leads to the destruction of red blood cells or hemoglobin in the blood higher than the normal. There are two types of thalassemia, alpha or beta according to the affection of type of globin chain in the body.

Thalassemia carrier is an individual who has one mutated gene that codes information for the normal production of red blood cells. A thalassemia patient has two or more defective genes. The thalassemia carrier is also known as thalassemia trait or thalassemia minor that has no direct impact on the health. If both the parents are thalassemia carrier, then there is a possibility that the child born to them will have severe thalassemia.

Conclusion

Thalassemia is a genetic disease that induces production of abnormal hemoglobin in the body. If a woman has thalassemia may face problems related to fertility due to iron overload from the frequent blood transfusion. In past days, pregnancy was discouraged for them due to the risk of cardiac failure. In the present time, pregnancy in thalassemia women has become common with improved treatment and iron control.

Also Read:

Pramod Kerkar

Written, Edited or Reviewed By:

, MD,FFARCSI

Pain Assist Inc.

Last Modified On: December 31, 2018

This article does not provide medical advice. See disclaimer

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