Marriage is considered a remarkable event in a couple’s life, as they plan to start a family, and through which they usher in a new stage in terms of building emotional, social, familial and healthy relationships.
Premarital testing programs should educate couples, providing accurate and unbiased information. Family background, hereditary factors, age, diet, exercise, weight management and addictions all contribute to the bigger picture.
For couples considering marriage, pre-marital screening helps identify potential health problems and risks for themselves and also their offspring. It is vital for couples to be screened in order to aid them to understand their genetics and help them take the necessary precautions or treatments.
Thalassemia is an inherited blood disorder (passed from parents to children through genes). Anaemia is a disorder in which your body doesn’t have enough normal, healthy Red Blood Cells (RBC).
Overall estimate of ß-Thalassemia carriers is 35-45 million among India’s population of over a billion people. Estimated number of births of affected babies annually would be 10,000-12,000. Causing a Social, Psychological and Financial Burden
When thalassemia is called “alpha” or “beta,” it refers to the part of haemoglobin that isn’t being made. If either the alpha or beta part is not made, there aren’t enough building blocks to make normal amounts of haemoglobin. Low alpha is called alpha thalassemia. Low beta is called beta thalassemia.
When the words “trait,” “minor,” “intermedia,” or “major” are used, these words describe how severe the thalassemia is. A person who has thalassemia trait may not have any symptoms at all or may have only mild anaemia, while a person with thalassemia major may have severe symptoms and may need regular blood transfusions.
People with a thalassemia mutation only in one gene are known as carriers or are said to have thalassemia minor. Thalassemia minor results in no anaemia or very slight anaemia. People who are carriers do not require blood transfusion or iron therapy, unless proven to be iron deficient.
Children born with thalassemia major usually develop the symptoms of severe anaemia within the first year of life. Lacking the ability to produce normal adult haemoglobin, children with thalassemia major:
If both parents carry thalassemia minor, their children may have thalassemia minor, or they may have completely normal blood, or they may have thalassemia major. In each pregnancy there is a one in four (25%) chance that their child will have normal blood, a two in four (50%) chance that the child will have thalassemia minor or a one in four (25%) chance that the child will have thalassemia major
Thalassemia is diagnosed by the following tests:
The treatment for thalassemia depends on the type and severity of disease involved. Your doctor will give you a course of treatment that is customized for you particular case.
Infectious diseases like HIV, Hepatitis B Virus (HCV), Hepatitis B Virus (HBV), Syphilis and Sexually Transmitted Disease (STD).
Among the blood-borne viruses transmissible through the parenteral route, by blood transfusion, as well as, by sexual intercourse, Human Immunodeficiency Viruses (HIV), Hepatitis B Virus (HBV) and Hepatitis C Virus (HCV) are important and have several implications.
Pre-marital Screening also helps rule out carrier status of potentially life-threatening infectious diseases like the HIV and HBV. The World Health Organization (WHO) notes that HBV is 50 – 100 times more infectious than HIV. HBV can be passed from mother to baby during birth. Therefore, it is imperative to safeguard yourself from these potentially life-threatening diseases with simple screening.
Not only do they establish asymptomatic persistent infections, but they also cause significant morbidity and mortality when transmitted through transfusion of blood and blood products.
Failure to diagnose and treat STDs at an early stage results in serious complications and sequelae, including infertility, fetal wastage, ectopic pregnancy, cancer and death.