Can I be a Thalassaemia Minor?

I am a healthy human being. Do I need to know about Thalassaemia?

Ansolutely yes! You could be a carrier of Thalassaemia (also called Thalassaemia Minor).

Now, what is that?

You know, you must find out whether you are 'carrier' of Thalassaemia.

Why ?

Because if you are a 'carrier' and your spouse/spouse-to-be is also one, then your future child could be in for serious trouble.

How? Your child could be a Thalassaemia Major. What does that me?

It means that your child will survive only if given regular blood transfusion through out its life.

How can this happen if both me and my spouse are healthy?

In most cases, 'carriers' of Thalassaemia are healthy. They pose no risk to themself. But it both partners in a marriage are 'carriers', there is a 25% chance, during each pregnancy, that their child will be a Thalassaemia Major.

So what should I do?

You must do a blood test and find out if you are a 'carrier'?

And then?

If you are not a 'carrier', you don't need to do anything.

And if I am a 'carrier'?

If you are a 'carrier', you must check whether you spouse is also a 'carrier'.

And if my spouse is not a 'carrier'?

You don't need to worry at all.

And what if we are both 'carriers'?

You must realised that there is a 25% chance that your child will be a Thalassaemia Major.

Does that mean that we cannot have a child if we are both 'carriers'?

That surely if the safest option. You could probably adopt a child.

But what if we want our own biological child?

You could have your own biological child. But you must inform your 'gynaec' that you and your spouse and both 'carriers' of Thalassaemia. You must insist with the doctor for a Pre-Natal test on the foetus. The Pre-Natal test will tell you if foetus is affected (Thalassaemia Major) or non affected (Thalassaemia Minor or normal). And you must go ahead with having the child after taking a conscious decision accepting the possible consequences

But how come nobody knows about this?

It is sad that nobody knows about this. And they only come to know that they are 'carriers' after they have given birth to a Thalassaemia Major child. By which time it is too late and their life is shattered.