Blood groups, Hb Genotype and its Effects on Marriages

Blood groups, Hb Genotype and its Effects on Marriages

Are you ready to get married, but confused about if you guys are good to go maybe due to your blood group or genotype? Then, this is for you.

Over the past week, a large number of Nigerians on our various platforms have been bothered about their status and that of their partners, and most importantly, if they are a good match (or good to go as many would say).

My Genotype is XXXXX, Can I marry someone with XXXXX?

First and foremost, before we begin to go in-depth on the matter at hand, let us state critically that Anyone can marry Anyone, depending on their financial status, and with proper counselling. When we go forward, you’ll understand why this was said.

Blood groups, Hb Genotype and its Effects on Marriages
Blood groups, Hb Genotype and its Effects on Marriages

What is Genotype?

Your genotype is your complete heritable genetic identity; It is your collection of genes. These genes’ DNA is used to make a protein that forms your entire body.
In Simple English, your genotype is the origin of those features that you inherited from your parents. It is the reason why you look like your father/mother, why you have your complexion, height, weight, etc.

Examples of genotypes are the genes responsible for:
eye colour, hair colour, height, how your voice sounds, certain diseases (e.g., breast cancer, Diabetes), and certain behaviours (e.g.: some kinds of epilepsy).

This is why a short man or Lady would be looking for a tall partner to marry to see if they can change that.

The genotype is the reason why if a person has Breast cancer, Diabetes, Asthma, etc, the person’s child is also likely to have it if they inherit those particular sets of genes responsible for it.

For more explanation, you can ask questions in the comments below. We would love to keep this simple, and today, our focus is on the Haemoglobin Genotype or what most persons would call the Blood genotype.

What is the Haemoglobin Genotype/Blood Genotype?

As we described above, the Haemoglobin genotype is a type of gene combination that is found in the blood (red blood cell). It is a combination, inherited from both parents (father and mother).

What are the types of Hb Genotype?

There are different types of HB Genotype: A, S, D, E, and C, but our focus today is on A and S.
the Hb-A genotype: this is the normal genotype. Other abnormal types are due to mutation (changes) which are then inherited and transferred to the children.
The Hb-S genotype: this is an abnormal genotype, and is the cause of the popular Sickle cell anemia. This is the most common abnormal genotype in our environment because it gives some form of protection against malaria which is prevalent here.

What type of Genotype can I get married to?

All types of Genotype are suitable for marriage but to be on the safe side:

AA (normal)

Can marry anyone, from AA to SS. If they marry AA, they would give birth to all Normal (AA) children.
If they marry an AS (carrier) person, they would give birth to a possible combination of AA (normal) or AS (carrier).
If they marry an SS (sickler) person, they would give birth to all Carriers (AS).

AS (carriers):

Advised to marry AA partners, to remove the risk of giving birth to Sicklers.
If they marry an AS partner, there is a 25% (1 in 4) chance of giving birth to a normal (AA) person, a 50% (2 in 4) chance of having an AS to a child, and a 25% (1 in 4) chance of having a Sickler (SS). Know that this doesn’t mean that 1 in every 4 of your child must be a sickler or normal.
No. It is just a probability. This means that all your children can be normal (AA), just the same way it is possible for all your children to be Sicklers (SS).

Now, if a person with AS marries someone with SS, they have a 50% chance of giving birth to a child with AS (carrier) and a 50% chance of giving birth to a sickler (SS).
Again, this means that all your children might be carriers, or all of them may be Sicklers.
You can ask more questions by commenting below if you are confused, and our doctors will respond to you as soon as possible.

SS (Sicklers): 

For the best-case scenario, a person with this genotype should only marry a partner with AA.
In simpler language: the AAs are the only ones that an SS can marry and give birth to normal children (carriers). Any other combination is a risk for giving birth to Sicklers (SS). An SS should never marry an SS unless they are willing and ready to raise all Sicklers.

For more about Sicklers, read our discussion on Sickle Cell anaemia here.

What if we are in love, and have come too far to go back now?

Every piece of advice here is medically speaking. Love would not change your genotype. Parting ways might be the most difficult thing you can do now, but you both would be grateful in the end.

How can I Change my Genotype?

It is important to know that a genotype can never be changed. It is hereditary and does not ever change. If a person has had 2 different genotype results in the past, it’s most likely a laboratory error. It is important in our environment to repeat your tests in 3 different labs, one of which should be in a tertiary institution.

Now let’s talk about blood groups.

What are blood groups?

Blood groups just like the Hb genotype are inherited from the parents. They represent antigens on a blood cell. Just like colouring in a food or drink.

What are the types of blood groups?

There are different types of blood groups, but the one we are concerned with today is the ABO group and the rhesus group. This is the most common and important of all.

The different possible ABO blood groups combination are A, B, AB, and O. While the rhesus type/factor is the + or – you hear when the blood group is mentioned. Like A+ or B- (that means blood group A, rhesus positive. Or blood group B, rhesus negative).

I am blood group XXXXX, can I marry a person with blood group XXXX??

Unlike the case of genotype, in the blood group, you can marry anyone regardless of their blood group. There is no problem anywhere.
The major reason why people consider blood groups in marriage is due to 2 things;

  1. If the woman is Rhesus negative: this means the woman has A-, B-, AB- or O-. If a woman with any of these blood groups marries a man that is positive (A+, B+, O+), she would risk having successive miscarriages from the 2nd pregnancy onwards due to what is called Sensitization. To prevent this, there is a drug that would be given to the woman after every pregnancy so that, she would not have these miscarriages. So, both persons can marry, but this factor should be always remembered.
  2. For possible blood transfusion in the future: if for any reason after marriage, there is a need for surgery or urgent blood transfusion, if the blood type is not a match or no one is O- (or O+ if others are positive), then, they would have to seek for blood donors externally.

Except this, your blood group should not be an obstacle to your marriage to the love of your life (other factors being constant).

We would stop here for today. Feel free to ask any questions you have below, and our doctors will respond to them as soon as possible.

The post would be continually updated whenever necessary.

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