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Alba Iulia
Saturday, January 18, 2020

We are both ‘AS’, are we safe to marry? YES!

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Chris C. A.https://healthweakness.com
I am Akachukwu, Christopher Chidera. A graduate of the Federal University of Technology, Owerri (FUTO). A proud founder of Nigeria No.1 Health resource-based Blog (Healthweakness.com) and the NGO - The Young Entrepreneurs Network (Tyenorg.com). My major life objective and philosophy for wealth are centered on human development – "True wealth comes with the number of human lives one has affected positively. The more you impact and invest in human capital development, you grow 999 times better in your previous state of wealth."

Reading Time: 4 minutesThere has always been a burning question concerning the options available for AS genotype couples who are soon-to-be-married or already married. Many relationships have been cut short because of the fear of having sickle cell (SS) anemia children.

Since an AS individual is partly a carrier of the sickle cell genotype, having healthy children is a priority for them. Also, not having children at all could be devastating. So any available option is looked into. So keep calm and be fearless as I walk you down the three unbelievable options for AS genotype couples.

On the internet today, you will see many worrisome questions like:

I will try as much as possible to answer many of them on the frequently asked question tab. So if these are what you want to read, click on this link to go straight to the F&Q. But for this article, I shall be writing in-depth on the three options for AS and AS genotype couples to get married and bear healthy kids without the fear of sickle cell.

Ignorance is not an excuse; SAY NO TO SICKLE CELL!

If you are reading this, I’ll assume you are troubled about being an AS genotype couple or maybe a sickle cell anemia carrier. Being an AS genotype carrier comes with a whole lot of blessings, which includes and not limited to; not being prone to malaria – you hardly fall ill in general.

As we talk of the pros of AS genotype, let’s not forget that it could be a pain in the ass to many singles, because it’s a silent factor that determines who we date or marry for fear of having sickle cell anemia (SS) children.

Genetically, biologists have proven that there are 25% chances of having an SS child as an AS genotype couple (i.e., 1 out of 4 children would be a sickle cell (SS) carrier). Another 25% chance that you’ll give birth to an AA genotype child and 50% that you’ll have an AS genotype child.

But the sad truth is that the 75% chances of having healthy children (both AA and AS children) do not remove the risk involved. You could end up having all or most of your children as sickle cell (SS) carriers. The 75% chance is just a probability, and it boils down to you guys having luck giving birth to healthy children, but hold on! There is a way out.

It has always been an advisable option for soon-to-be-married or already married AS genotype couple to break-up; to avoid such a huge risk or pain of seeing their children suffer from sickle cell (SS) anemia. However, this post is not about that. It is about other options available, apart from divorce.

What about love? The bond? The mutual understanding? Should we leave it all because of a single factor known as genotype? These are some of the questions we ask ourselves every day. I know the feeling of having to leave someone you love so dearly. We are all humans, we have feelings, but the good news is there is always a way out!

The advancement in technology in the world today, especially in the medical field, have made it easier to have sickle cell-free children. Some available procedures have been proven to provide 98100% accuracy. Yes! I understand that’s a pretty bold statement. But, before you freak out, let me quickly run down some proven effective methods that could make two incompatible AS genotype singles become very much compatible as husband and wife. So let’s begin.

Three (3) options for AS genotype couples

OPTION 1 – CHORIONIC VILLUS SAMPLING (CVS):

Chorionic Villus Sampling (CVS) is a prenatal test that is used to detect congenital disabilities, genetic diseases, sickle cell, and other problems associated with pregnancy. This test must be performed as early as 10 to 12 weeks from the woman’s last menstrual period. During the test, a small sample of cells is taken from the placenta where it attaches to the wall of the uterus. They have the same genes with the child because they are tiny parts of the placenta that are formed from the fertilized eggs.

BENEFITS OF CHORIONIC VILLUS SAMPLING (CVS)

CHORIONIC VILLUS SAMPLING (CVS) can help identify;

Sickle cell anemia Chromosomal problems, such as the down syndrome, Genetic diseases such as the cystic fibrosis, Sex gender of the fetus, etc.

This method is considered to be 98% accurate in the diagnosis of chromosomal defects. It takes about ten days for the results to be out. However, you may wish to keep or terminate the pregnancy once the test shows the child is a sickle cell carrier.

RISK INVOLVED IN CHORIONIC VILLUS SAMPLING (CVS)

  1. Risk of miscarriage.
  2. Infection may occur due to a mishandled process.
  3. Rare cases of missing baby’s finger or toes have been reported.
  4. Please consult your doctor to get further professional advice on the procedure.

OPTION 2 – AMNIOCENTESIS TEST

Amniocentesis is also another prenatal test done between the 15th and 18th week of pregnancy. According to findings, it is shown to be about 99.4% accurate. It is less risky, compared to CHORIONIC VILLUS SAMPLING (CVS) where the risk of miscarriage is high.

In AMNIOCENTESIS TEST, a small amount of amniotic fluid is removed from the sac surrounding the fetus for testing. It takes 2-3 weeks for the test results to be out. Like the CVS, an earlier termination of the baby may be advised if found to be a sickle cell carrier.

BENEFITS OF AMNIOCENTESIS TEST

Amniocentesis test helps in the early discovery of:

  1. Sickle cell disease (SSD).
  2. Down syndrome.
  3. Muscular dystrophy.
  4. Cystic fibrosis.
  5. Conditions where the brain and the spine are not adequately developed.
  6. This test is also one of the most accurate ways to determine the gender of the baby.

PS: AMNIOCENTESIS TEST does not detect all congenital disabilities.

RISK INVOLVED IN AMNIOCENTESIS TEST

Some of the risks involved in carrying out this test may include and not limited to:

  1. Minimal risk of miscarriage. It is less than 1%, and approximately 1 in every 200 procedures carried out.
  2. Preterm labor.
  3. Infection.
  4. An injury may also occur, but they are rare.

COMPARISON BETWEEN CHORIONIC VILLUS SAMPLING (CVS) AND AMNIOCENTESIS TEST

Comparing both, you’ll notice option 2 is less risky and safer, but they both require the termination of the baby if sickle cell anemia is detected. Please note, I’m not against the termination, neither am I in support of it; it’s a personal decision for the couple to make. You may please seek further advice from medical experts when you find yourself in tough decisions like this.

However, there’s a third option which is more accurate, useful, and more expensive, compared to option 1 and 2. It is safer, does not require the termination of the baby, and detects more congenital disabilities. It is known as the pre-implantation genetic diagnosis (PGD) – stay put and keep reading.

OPTION 3 – PRE-IMPLANTATION GENETIC DIAGNOSIS (PGD)

This is a procedure used before implantation to help detect genetic defects or diseases within the embryos and prevent it from being passed to the child. The embryos used in pre-implantation genetic diagnosis (PGD) are created during the procedure known as in vitro fertilization.

Pre-implantation genetic diagnosis begins with the process of in vitro fertilization, which includes egg retrieval and fertilization in a lab. It is evaluated to identify if a problematic gene is found. Once an embryo free of genetic defect has been detected, it is placed back into the uterus via in vitro fertilization (IVF).

It takes 3-5 days for the embryo to retrieve, fertilize, and develop and another 1-2 weeks of testing to make sure it is genetic-defect free.

BENEFITS OF PRE-IMPLANTATION GENETIC DIAGNOSIS (PGD)

  1. Pre-implantation genetic diagnosis (PGD) tests for more than 100 genetic defects, including sickle cell anemia.
  2. Pre-implantation genetic diagnosis (PGD) is a procedure done before implantation or fertilization, thus, allowing the couple to arrive at a perfect resolution.
  3. It involves less risk
  4. Ideal for women between 35 and over and women with one or more failed fertility treatment.

A significant number of people believe that life begins at conception; the destruction of an embryo is the destruction of life. While pre-implantation genetic diagnosis (PGD) reduces the risk of conceiving a child without a genetic disorder, it won’t completely take out the risks involved.

Further testing needs to be done during and after the pregnancy to know if the threat is possible.

COMPARISON BETWEEN CHORIONIC VILLUS SAMPLING (CVS), AMNIOCENTESIS TEST AND PRE-IMPLANTATION GENETIC DIAGNOSIS (PGD)

COST – It is found that the pre-implantation genetic diagnosis (PGD) is quite expensive, running into thousands of dollars, while Chronic villus sampling (CVS) and Amniocentesis test cost very much less. However, option 1 and 2 require the termination of the already-conceived baby, while pre-implantation genetic diagnosis (PGD) doesn’t.

Please see a medical expert to discuss your options and for further inquiries. I’m glad that today, you now know that there’s a solution – so divorce wouldn’t be best of choice for couples who find themselves in genotype incompatibility cases like this.

In case you are interested, there are some available specialist hospitals within the United States and other countries around the world that offer these services. So, you may leave a message for us with your choice of country for available recommendations.

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FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS

  • I am AS, can I marry an AS person?

Yes! You can. In this article, I have taken time to explain in details ‘Three unbelievable options for AS and AS genotype couples’. Although one of the options is money-intensive, the first two are affordable for an average individual. You may take your time to read through all available options if you’ve not already, and say no to sickle cell reproduction. I think with this, I’ve been able to also answer the question, ‘Can AS and AS get married?’ so take your time.

  • What is in vitro fertilization?

In vitro fertilization (IVF) is a type of fertilization where the sperm is used to fertilize an egg outside the body. This process of fertilization is done in a laboratory by well-trained specialists.

  • Aside from the three options explained above, are there any other alternatives one could take to have healthy children as an AS genotype couple?

For now, there may be other alternatives unknown to me, but the three options given are the best practices guaranteed for 98% to 100% accuracy. However, you can consult a medical expert for other available options.

  • Where are the recommended best medical experts for these procedures?

Like earlier stated, leave a message for us with your desired country of choice and preferred location, and we shall recommend specialists within that region for you. For so many reasons, we wouldn’t be listing them here.

  • Can I change my genotype from AS to AA?

There could be so many reasons why one would wish to change one’s genotype. Nevertheless, I see no reason for such settlement, because you are genetically healthy unless you are a sickle cell (SS) carrier. This I wouldn’t say much about for now, but some research has proven that on a rare approach, through Bone or Blood Marrow Transplant (BMT), it’s possible for a genotype change.

“Bone or blood marrow transplant” is used in replacing the abnormal blood stem cells in the body with healthy cells; hence, it can be used as a permanent cure for genotype-related issues.

PS: This type of surgery is also quite expensive and very new in practice.

  • What are the chances of having AS genotype children If we are an AS couple?

The truth is, if you fail to adhere to the above options available for AS and AS genotype couple and luck also eludes you, there is a 25% chance of having sickle cell anemia (SS) children. But if luck is with you, with about 75% chance, you may have all your children ‘AS and AA genotype.’ Below is a table of reference:

AS + AS  =50% chances of having AS genotype
AS + AS  =25% chances of having AA genotype
AS + AS  =25% chances of having SS genotype

  • Can a sickle cell patient marry?

Why not! Nevertheless, you can only get married to an AA genotype spouse. Otherwise, you will stand the chance of risking the health of your unborn children. Do consult your doctor for further counseling

  • Can an AA marry an AS?

Yes, they can both marry. It’s 100% health-proven that they wouldn’t be facing any risk of reproduction. So, this is the best genotype compatibility option for an AS individual.

  • What are the implications of marrying an AS genotype person?

There are no negative implications of marrying an AS genotype person unless otherwise, you are AS or SS genotype too.

  • What genotypes are compatible for marriage?

In the table below is a full ideal list of compatible genotypes for marriage. There can still be a compromise, just as this topic of discussion compromised the chances for both AS couple getting married and still bearing healthy kids. We aren’t encouraging compromise, so you should take your time and study the chart carefully before getting deep in a relationship with your would-be spouse.

GENOTYPE COMPATIBILITY CHART

GENOTYPES  RESULTS  REMARK
AA + AA =AAAAAAAAEXCELLENT
AA + AS =AAASAAASGOOD
AA + SS =ASASASASFAIR
AA + AC =AAAAAAACGOOD
AS + AS =AAASASSSBAD (Requires medical counseling)
AS + SS =ASSSSSSSVERY BAD (Requires serious medical counseling)
AS + AC =AAACASSSBAD (Requires medical counseling)
SS + SS =SSSSSSSSCRITICALLY BAD (Requires serious medical counseling)
SS + AC =ASASSSSSVERY BAD (Requires medical counseling)
AC + AC =AAACACSSBAD (Requires medical counseling)

From the above genotype compatibility chart, you will see the remarks after each result, so you can make a decision before marriage.

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