alpha thalassemia carrier


#1

Anyone else a carrier for alpha thalassemia?

Just found out today. Feels like blow after blow.


#2

Has your DH been tested? Do you have trait? So sorry that this is something you have to learn about now.

I would suggest talking to the genetic counselors if you have any questions or I’m happy to answer questions too.

My husband’s actually a trait carrier, 2 out of 4 missing. We did testing prior to my first pregnancy to check if I was a carrier too but that came back negative. They told me that it was possible that I was a silent carrier, 1 out of 4 missing.
For most alpha thals, if you’re missing 2 out of 4 it’s not noticeable.
My son, now 3, ended up missing 3 out of 4, meaning he has hemoglobin h. He’s extremely healthy and hasn’t had to take any blood transfusions but we do need to be careful about a lot of medications. In general, most people with hemoglobin h can lead very normal lives with 1 or 2 transfusions if super sick.
If your DH and you are both trait, missing 2 of 4, then it’s possible your baby might have 4 of 4 missing, 25% chance. If that’s the case, it’s extremely rare for those babies to survive to be born.

You might find some info on the internet about beta thalassemia which actually is much more severe than alpha thalassemia. Just keep in mind that they’re not interchangeable so I would caution you against reading too much about symptoms and treatments for that. I read way too much about it and needlessly scared myself.


#3

Thanks for your response! Turns out I’m only a silent carrier. I thought I would’ve been a carrier since I’ve always been borderline anemic.

My husband has to be tested. I think he’ll be a silent carrier at most.

My genetic counselor was a big help.


#4

That’s great that you’re only a silent carrier!
:cross: that your husband’s tests come back the same or better.

Good luck!