People suffering with Thalassemia can marry any other person of their choice and live a normal family life and yes, even have babies! A Thalassemia patient may have a good reproductive health if proper care is taken from the very beginning of the patient’s life.
When a Thalassemic marries, it is not necessary that all their kids will be affected by thalassemia but it depends on the traits of the person whom they marry. On the basis of types of Thalassemia, explained below are the outcomes that may occur when a Thalassemia patient marries:
⦁ Thalassemia Minor with Normal Person: If a thalassemia minor patient will marry a normal person then, in each pregnancy there will be a 50% chance that the child will be a thalassemia minor and the other 50% child will be normal. The diagram below explains the above outcomes.
⦁ Thalassemia Minor with Thalassemia Minor: If a thalassemia minor will marry a thalassemia minor then, in each pregnancy there shall be a 25% chance for the child to be normal, 50% chance for Thalassemia minor and the other 25% will be for the child to be Thalassemia Major. The diagram below explains the above outcomes.
⦁ Thalassemia Major with Normal Person: – If a thalassemia major patient marries a normal person then, in each pregnancy there is 100 % possibility of the child to carry thalassemia minor trait. In India there are many cases in which a thalassemia major is married to a normal person and has given birth to a child. Preetha Mukherjee, 27, a thalassemia major has married a Normal person and has given birth to a child who is a Thalassemia Carrier.
⦁ Thalassemia Major with Thalassemia Major: – If a thalassemia major marries another major then the child has to be a Thalassemia Major patient as both the parents are Thalassemia Majors. Therefore, pregnancy in such case is not at all advisable.
⦁ Thalassemia Major with Thalassemia Minor: – If a thalassemia major marries a Thalassemia minor then, in case of pregnancy there is a 50% chance that the child will be thalassemia major and a 50% chance that he/she will be a Thalassemia Minor. The diagram below explains the above outcomes: –
In order to avoid having kids affected with Thalassemia, one must get himself/ herself tested before planning for marriage. And if you are a Thalassemia Carrier, you must avoid getting married to another Thalassemia Carrier in order to Prevent Thalassemia Major. For this one shall get the HB Electrophoresis Test done.
However, in case, the test could not be done, we would then encourage you to test the unborn between10-12 weeks of pregnancy, this is known as Pre Natal Diagnosis .Abortion is allowed and is legal in such cases.