Hemophilia is a genetic mutation disease that causes sufferers to bleed longer than normal people. This blood disorder causes the slightest wound that can be fatal, even triggering complications of hemophilia. Then, is there a way to prevent hemophilia? To know how to prevent hemophilia, see the explanation in this article.
Can hemophilia disease be prevented?
The prevention of a disease can be traced to its main causes, including hemophilia. As previously mentioned, hemophilia is a blood disorder caused by a genetic mutation.
Genetic mutations occur when genes in the body undergo changes and don’t work as they should. Hemophilia occurs because of mutations in genes that play a role in the blood clotting process.
These genetic mutations are generally hereditary. In other words, the problematic gene is inherited from parents with the same condition.
People with the mutated gene may not develop hemophilia and are called carriers. That is, he only carries the trait of hemophilia, but does not experience it directly. However, it can still be passed down or passed on the mutated gene to children who are born later.
This means, both a carrier and someone with hemophilia have a chance of giving birth to a child with hemophilia. If so, finding a way to prevent hemophilia that is hereditary is difficult to do.
Even so, that doesn’t mean you can’t prevent hemophilia in your children later if you and your partner have a talent for hemophilia. With good pregnancy planning, hemophilia can be prevented and can reduce the chances of having a child with hemophilia one day.
Prevention of hemophilia through pregnancy planning
Every prospective parent, especially those with genetic diseases or problems, certainly has great concerns about their future children. The reason is, the risk of passing on problematic genes to future babies will always haunt you. This also applies to patients living with hemophilia and planning to have children.
Planning a pregnancy carefully is one of the efforts to prevent hemophilia in your child, or other hereditary diseases. What should be done?
1. Genetic counseling
Pregnancy planning can be started by taking genetic counseling with your partner. Genetic counseling will increase your knowledge and your partner about certain diseases, including hemophilia. You can certainly prevent the chance of having a child with hemophilia if you are supported by sufficient information and knowledge about the disease.
Genetic counseling should be done before you plan to have children as part of a pre-marital health check. After attending counseling, married couples are expected to have a clear understanding of several things, such as:
- What is the chance of having a child with hemophilia
- What are the risks of passing on the hemophilia gene in both boys and girls
- How to treat hemophilia, the costs involved, and which hospital provides treatment facilities for hemophilia
- How pregnancy and childbirth are appropriate to minimize risks to mother and baby
If there is any confusion or concern, ask during this counseling. With sufficient knowledge, you and your partner can make the best decisions as a form of prevention of having a child with hemophilia.
2. Genetic testing
Another preventive measure to minimize the risk of giving birth to a child with hemophilia is to undergo genetic testing. This test is important to do, especially if you are still in doubt whether you or your partner is a carrier or not.
Genetic tests can detect the number of particles or blood clotting factors present in your body. Therefore, this test is usually done by taking a sample of your blood and checking it in the laboratory.
From these tests, you can get information on whether you or your partner have a problematic gene, as well as the possible type of hemophilia you have. You don’t need to worry because the results of genetic tests with blood give the most accurate results.
3. Fertilization methods and processes
Another way to prevent the chance of passing hemophilia to your child is to choose the appropriate fertilization method. Doctors and the medical team will help determine a method of conception that can reduce the risk of giving birth to a child with hemophilia.
According to Haemophilia Foundation Australia, one method that is usually considered is in vitro fertilization (IVF), aka IVF. Along with this method, it is necessary to do a procedure called preimplantation genetic diagnosis (PGD).
PGD is an important procedure for identifying defective genes, as well as checking for chromosomes in embryos developed from IVF procedures. If the embryo tested has been proven to be free of genetic problems, it will be implanted back in the uterus.
The PGD method can detect more than 100 different genetic problems. Since this procedure is performed before the embryo is implanted in the uterus, it is believed to be an effective form of prevention to reduce the risk of having a baby with hemophilia.
However, apart from its high accuracy, of course this method has some drawbacks. It is important to remember that this method only helps reduce the chances of passing on the defective gene. So, PGD cannot eliminate these risks completely.
Generally, if you do not have hemophilia, you will automatically avoid this disease. Efforts to prevent hemophilia in prospective children are usually intensively carried out for those who are known to have the hemophilia gene. However, there is nothing wrong with getting checked out and consulting a doctor about the best prevention efforts. That way, you can plan your health better too.