THE IMPORTANCE OF KNOWING YOUR GENOTYPE BEFORE MARRIAGE
The Importance Of Knowing Your Genotype And Your Blood Group Before Marriage
Genotype is the genetic makeup of an individual with reference to a trait or multiple traits. They are the collection of genes passed from parents to the children. Alleles or Allelomorphs are also referred to as the genes. Children born of a parent will have different genotype. Exceptions are seen in cases of twins or multiple births that are fertilized from the same egg. Human beings have two alleles with each pair inherited from each parent. An allele represents a gene.
Before the advent of modern medicine (read about how modern medicine came to Nigeria here ), there was high mortality and infant death rates. All these children lost to the cold hands of death were referred to as “abikus”. All these happened because there was no knowledge on blood group or genotype. People that get married irrespective of their genetic makeup should not be blamed for their ignorance. But with the advent of modern medicine( read about modern medicine and its advantages in Nigeria ), biological explanations are now being made on the causes of infant death rate, this led to the discovery of sickle cells in Africa, especially in Nigeria.
Before marriage, partners should be aware of their genotypes and blood group as the society no long provides excuse for this ignorance ( read an interesting article named no excuse for ignorance here ). Parents should check the genotype of their children during pregnancy or immediately after birth. This will help to know the health status of the child and what they have to do to sustain and maintain the child’s health.
There are four genotypes in humans – AA, AS, SS and AC . AC genotype is not so common and popular unlike the other three. SS and AC are the abnormal genotypes or the sickle cells. The knowledge of genotype is important when choosing life partners. Intending couples should know both their own genotype as well as their partner’s genotype at the early stage of their relationship before they are well rooted in love and emotions. Emotions and time spent in the relationship can cloud people’s judgment or decision to break up if they are not compatible, thus, giving birth to sickle cell children and subjecting themselves and their children to pain, torture and agony.
Possible Outcomes of Different Genetic Combination
AA + AA = AA, AA, AA, AA
AA + AS = AA, AS, AA, AS
AA + SS = AS, AS, AS, AS
AA + AC = AA, AA, AA, AC
AS + AS = AA, AS, AS, SS
AS + SS = AS, SS, SS, SS
AS + AC = AA, AC, AS,SS
SS + SS = SS, SS, SS, SS
AC + SS = AS, AS, SS, SS
AC + AC = AA, AC, AC, SS
People with the genotype AA are prone to malaria sickness at their early ages. Sickle cell arises when there is any blockage in the blood vessels which inhibits the flow of oxygen. When the red blood cell do not have the required oxygen, there will be changes in its original shape (disc shape) to a “Sickle-like” or “crescent-like shape” , Thus, the name “sickle cell”. Sickle cell patients experience severe pains in body parts that lack oxygen flow. Their bone marrows will fail to produce red blood cells and this result to anemia. To save this crisis, blood is usually transfused to them.
In terms of compatibility, someone with AA genotype can marry anybody. It is safe for someone with AS to marry someone with AA genotype. The combinations of AS and AS, AS and AC should not be risked. There is probability of having a SS. Although. Two sickle cells should not even have a relationship or get married. Individuals with the AA genotype should help you prevent genetic abnormalities by marrying the AS, AC and SS. By this, we are hopeful to eradicate sickle cells in the world.