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The Importance Of Knowing Your Genotype And Your Blood Group Before Marriage

More About Genotype And Blood Group

Genotype is the genetic makeup of an individual with reference to a trait or multiple traits. They are the collection of genes passed from parents to the children. Alleles or Allelomorphs are also referred to as the genes. Children born of a parent will have different genotype. Exceptions are seen in cases of twins or multiple births that are fertilized from the same egg. Human beings have two alleles with each pair inherited from each parent. An allele represents a gene.

Before the advent of modern medicine (read about how modern medicine came to Nigeria here), there was high mortality and infant death rates. All these children lost to the cold hands of death were referred to as "abikus". All these happened because there was no knowledge on blood group or genotype. People that get married irrespective of their genetic makeup should not be blamed for their ignorance. But with the advent of modern medicine( read about modern medicine and its advantages in Nigeria ), biological explanations are now being made on the causes of infant death rate, this led to the discovery of sickle cells in Africa, especially in Nigeria. Before marriage, partners should be aware of their genotypes and blood group as the society no long provides excuse for this ignorance (read an interesting article named no excuse for ignorance here). Parents should check the genotype of their children during pregnancy or immediately after birth. This will help to know the health status of the child and what they have to do to sustain and maintain the child's health.

There are four genotypes in humans - AA, AS, SS and AC. AC genotype is not so common and popular unlike the other three. SS and AC are the abnormal genotypes or the sickle cells. The knowledge of genotype is important when choosing life partners. Intending couples should know both their own genotype as well as their partner's genotype at the early stage of their relationship before they are well rooted in love and emotions. Emotions and time spent in the relationship can cloud people’s judgment or decision to break up if they are not compatible, thus, giving birth to sickle cell children and subjecting themselves and their children to pain, torture and agony.

Possible Outcomes of Different Genetic Combination

AA + AA = AA, AA, AA, AA
AA + AS = AA, AS, AA, AS 
AA + SS = AS, AS, AS, AS
AA + AC = AA, AA, AA, AC
AS + AS = AA, AS, AS, SS
AS + SS = AS, SS, SS, SS
AS + AC = AA,  AC, AS,SS
SS + SS = SS, SS, SS, SS
AC + SS = AS, AS, SS, SS
AC + AC = AA, AC, AC, SS

People with the genotype AA are prone to malaria sickness at their early ages. Sickle cell arises when there is any blockage in the blood vessels which inhibits the flow of oxygen. When the red blood cell do not have the required oxygen, there will be changes in its original shape (disc shape) to a "Sickle-like" or "crescent-like shape", Thus, the name "sickle cell". Sickle cell patients experience severe pains in body parts that lack oxygen flow. Their bone marrows will fail to produce red blood cells and this result to anemia. To save this crisis, blood is usually transfused to them.

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In terms of compatibility, someone with AA genotype can marry anybody. It is safe for someone with AS to marry someone with AA genotype. The combinations of AS and AS, AS and AC should not be risked. There is probability of having a SS. Although. Two sickle cells should not even have a relationship or get married. Individuals with the AA genotype should help you prevent genetic abnormalities by marrying the AS, AC and SS.  By this, we are hopeful to eradicate sickle cells in the world.

Blood Groups / Blood Types

The red blood cells that transport oxygen in the body carry two antigens, which are the A and B antigens. These antigens determine the blood group. Blood groups are represented with A, AB, O, and B. When the red blood cell carries only the A antigen, the blood group is 'A', it is 'B' when the blood cell has only the B antigen. When both A and B antigens are present, the blood group is 'AB'. Finally, when there is neither A nor B antigen, the blood group is referred to as ’O’. 
Below is the cross breed of different blood groups and the products (offsprings)

A + A = A or O 
B + B = B or O
A + B = A, B, AB or O
A + O = A or O
B + O = B or O
A + AB = A, B or AB
O + O = O only

The genotype of blood type A is AA or AO. The antigens on the blood cell are A and antibodies on the blood plasma are B.

For blood type B, the genotype is BB or BO with A as the antigens and B as antibodies.

The blood type AB has the genotype to be AB.  The antigens are both A & B, and no antibodies on the blood plasma.

The blood type  O has the genotype to be OO. There are no antigens but has antibodies to be A or B.

Rhesus factor or the 'D' antigen is also found on the surface of the red blood cell. Those with it are seen to be "rhesus positive or Rh+" and those without are "rhesus negative or Rh-". There is a possibility of having both Rh + and Rh -. A person who is Rh + will produce antibodies against Rh - blood cells. A patient with Rh +can receive blood from someone who is Rh + or Rh -. But an Rh - can only receive blood from Rh -.

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Knowing your blood type helps during pregnancy. If the mother is Rh- and the father is Rh +, the fetus can either inherit the Rhesus gene from either the father or mother.  Complications (Rh incompatibility) occur when the Rhesus factor of the fetus contradicts that of the mother. This is common when a pregnant woman has Rh - and the fetus has Rh+. If the blood of the Rh + baby mixes with the mother’s, it can lead to the production of antibodies against the baby’s blood known as Rh-sensitization. To curb this disease, pregnant women should always meet regularly with obstetricians and human anti-D immune globulin or immunoglobulin should be administered to those with the complications.

General Note

*O are universal donors (donate blood to all blood types).  
*AB+ are universal recipients (receive from all blood types).
*A+ can receive blood from A+, A-, O+ & O-
* A- from A- & O-
*B+ from B+, B-, O+ & O-
*B- from B- & O-
*AB- from A-, B-, AB- & O-
* O+ from O+ & O-
*O- from O-

In Conclusion

Knowing one's blood group helps a lot. It determines the donor and recipient of blood transfusion, and also helps in determining paternity. A person with one blood type or group can produce antibodies against the other. For instance, a person with blood type A makes antibodies against blood type B. If this person is given blood of type B, his or her type antibodies will bind to the antigens on the type B blood cells cause the blood to clump together. Compatibility of blood type is necessary before transfusing blood in times of accidents and emergencies.

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I've read several excellent stuff here. Certainly worth bookmarking forr revisiting. I wonder how so much effort you put to maoe the sort of fantastic informativee web site

Heyy there, You've done a fantastic job. I will definitely digg it and personally suggest to my friends. I amm sure they will bbe benefited from this site.

Thanks for the information, I really appreciate it. Well done.

Wow, thank u for the info it was useful

your article gave me so much information althought there are still questions in my mind.. but still thank you for this information.. these article gives me more information in major blood testing group that my prof is reffering to..

am glad we could be of help to you, i hope you have been able to get the answers to the questions still on your mind

  A good article.  
I learned alot and got better understanding. Bt u didn't make mention of sc in ur analysis of  genetic combination. Cos have search and found out about it. And I also have a relation that is sc. Please what is expected of an sc patients deit wise. 
     Thanks in anticipation!

Am thankful d article ve deposited a wonderful knowlege in me

this is a very nice and important info.thanks for the knowledge you've impacted.

You re welcome

interesting and educating


Awesome fantastic read!

Thankyou Kedi, we are glad you enjoyed it

It's a good piece that enlighten and educate developing nation.

it gives us joy to be able to contribute our part to educating Africa

Hi there, 
I like this summary but i think you made a mistake when you said that for Blood type B the antigen is A,shouldn't  it be that the antigen is B? 

Kind regards

Hello Judith, i went through the article and still could not spot where it was written that blood type B has antigen A, but in case i some how missed it, for clarity purpose, blood type b has antigen b. thanks

This is the ststement Judith was referring to
 "For blood type B, the genotype is BB or BO with A as the antigens and B as antibodies"

Its is very useful article and it really helps, keep  it up

Keep it up in giving information that will help save generation next. I appreciate these articules

Its very useful, thank u.

Enlightening article kudos for that. i have seen a case of some blood group varying (changing over time), and from every study that's  invariably impossible and such has raised a keen sense of curiosity with me and i'm thinking  a professional hint or tip would assist to alleviate any cloud of doubt on such regard. You can reach me via jobfischer9@gmail.com. thank you

I am so much happy for the lesson i learn through you people God bless u all in Jesus in name.

can Rh 0+ ve marry 0+ ve

Yes, they can marry each other, the technicality only comes into view during blood transfusion

Tank you very much for your contribution I really learnt something here

thanks a lot. my most mind is settle now.

Thank you so much for this info wil share it with my family, but was told by one Nigerian doc that all us Southern Africans we have  genotype AA

This is really both educative and informative. Exactly what I was looking for. Easy to understand for a layman like me. Whoever wrote this article understands that not everyone one is medically inclined. I get the picture now cause this article is so easy to understand... No ambiguous terms! Thanks a lot.

@ amaka, we glad we are of help to you

God bless u all keep it up

am so inspired thanks

I rily enjoy this article. Thank u!

you are welcome

I love it n i v learnt a lot

am AS and i marry AS already, pls what can be done to prevent having SS... pls mail me for any help at abimboladayo@gmail.com

Very educative and sraight to the point kudos

wow, I really like this article and i oblige our young ones to go through this article before thinking of getting married as it will safe the unborn ones from the sickle cell disease.As for me, I've been cleared of all my doubts. thanks a lot.

Is there an advancement in medicine that could help reduce the risk of SS child for an AS and AS couple. In a dilemma right now . 

thanks I now have more clearer idea on this

I just read your article on Blood Group and Genotype, this is very interesting and educating I have learnt so much on this piece thanks much God Bless

Thanks for this info. i really have crabbed something from this.

I am happy to read this fantastic article. It helps to developed and gives me more knowledge to knw more about blood group and genotype. I am very happy. 


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