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Are blood group O + and A + incompatible for conception?

Q: My blood group is O positive blood and my boyfriend's blood group is A positive. Will this cause any harm to the baby if I get pregnant?

A:Your query is directed to what we call ABO incompatibility leading to Haemolytic Disease of The New Born (HDN). ABO HDN is most often seen in non-group O infants of group O mothers. Therefore, since you are O group and your boyfriend is A group, and if the fetus you will have on getting pregnant is A group, it is likely that there is a possibility of HDN. However, the antibodies that cause a severe response are IgM antibodies that do not transfer the placenta. HDN caused by ABO antibodies is usually mild because (1) placental transfer is limited to the fraction of IgG anti-A and anti-B found in maternal serum; (2) ABH antigens are not fully developed on fetal RBCs due to the lack of fully branched carbohydrate chains; and (3) tissue ABH antigens provide additional and buffering targets for the antibodies.

Having given all the above information, it is still advisabe for you to get in touch with your gynaecologist and a haematologist to understand the implications/risks.

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