When is it Too Late to Get RhoGAM Shot? The Answer You’ve Been Waiting for

RhoGAM is for pregnant ladies with Rh-negative blood type. It is safe and popular for more than half a century. Experts reveal that about 20% of women without RhoGAM will get Rh sensitization. 

So when is it too late to get RhoGAM shot?

Mixing Rh-negative and positive blood results in incompatibility. It will try to destroy the fetus’s blood cells by producing anti-Rh antibodies. Hence, mothers should get a RhoGAM shot within 26-28 weeks of gestation. But when is it late? The absence of the Rhesus factor concerns when you’re pregnant for the second time and more. So, it is safe to get your RhoGAM as soon as possible.

 This article will tell you when it is too late for your shot!

What is RhoGAM Shot

What is RhoGAM Shot

Who gets the RhoGAM shot

RhoGAM controls the production of antibodies that strike Rh-positive blood cells. That means it is for mothers with Rh-negative blood types. In short, it treats Rh incompatibility. 

Besides, RhoGAM has antibodies from human blood that includes Rh-positive proteins. 

Why do you need a RhoGAM shot? In general, antibodies combat foreign bodies. But, the formation of Rh antibodies provokes the baby to live with hemolytic disease.

Thus, these proteins will protect your immune system from reacting to the baby’s blood cells. And they do not harm your baby. So, stay still!

Rh Factor:

Rh factor is a type of protein seen on the red blood cell surface. But not everyone carries it. If you do not have the protein, you must be Rh-negative. As a general rule, children inherit it from their parents.

Recent research states that 1 out of every 6 million population are Rh-negative. In the majority, most people are Rh-positive.

Blood type varies from A, B, AB, and O. 

But how to know if you are negative or positive? Often, you find the + or – symbol next to your blood grouping. This sign reveals whether the Rh factor is present in your blood circulation. 

If you have not tested yourself, you should get one! Rh factor testing is vital during pregnancy to avoid undesirable complications.

Rh Incompatibility:

When Rh-negative mothers give birth to Rh-positive babies, incompatibility occurs. 

You may wonder how the baby might be Rh-positive! It is because they might have inherited it from their father. So, it is not surprising! 

Usually, Rh incompatibility is not a concern during the first pregnancy. The immune system takes some time to function. But your second baby might be in danger!

Your body can produce antibodies against the Rh factor over time. This can cause your immune system to attack the Rh-positive red blood cells. So this is why you may need the RhoGAM shot pregnancy!

Still, the odds of inheriting the maternal Rh factor are higher. Hence, you can be well-prepared with early testing and treatment. 

When is it Too Late to Get RhoGAM Shot?

When is it Too Late to Get RhoGAM Shot

As recommended, don’t neglect your pregnancy RhoGAM shot

RhoGAM shot in pregnancy after 28 weeks of gestation proved to be ineffective. If you take it later, you will have at least a 15% likelihood of becoming Rh sensitized. Later, it affects your following pregnancies.

It means it’s the same as not taking it at all. 

Your baby might still develop symptoms of Rh incompatibility. So when is it too late to get RhoGAM shot

At most, take it by 32 weeks of pregnancy. If you’re unsure, don’t panic! 

Rh-negative mothers get an antibody screening during 28-29 weeks of gestation. So you’ll know your status for sensitization. 

When to Get RhoGAM Shot During Pregnancy?

When to Get RhoGAM Shot During Pregnancy

The possibility of your blood and the baby’s blood mixing is highest during the delivery. 

Placenta will keep growing. Over time, the membrane that divides blood circulation becomes very thin.

When is it too late to get RhoGAM shot? It is best to get RhoGAM when you’re between 26 and 28 weeks of gestation. 

RhoGAM shot during pregnancy works for almost 13 weeks. Soon after you give birth, your baby’s blood will need sampling for Rh. 

Then, when do you give RhoGAM second dose? If your baby has Rh-positive, get another dose within 72 hours after delivery. RhoGAM shot after birth will secure the next pregnancies are as safe as the first. 

Not only that, you may need an early dose of injection for certain circumstances. Remember, you can get exposed to fetal cells anytime! For instance, during abdominal injury, early pregnancy bleeding, or any vaginal procedure. 

Where Do You Get The RhoGAM Shot on your body 

RhoGAM shot, where is it given? Injection into muscles, often at the arm or buttocks is the most common method. 

But it is not painful. 

Furthermore, there are many ways to get rid of pain after injection

Still, it depends on the doctor to choose the best ways to give this injection. And, the dosage varies as well.

Why Do I Need A RhoGAM Shot

Who needs a RhoGAM shot? If you test Rh-positive, the shot is not needed. While Rh-negative mothers will high likely need RhoGAM.

Getting a RhoGAM shot is the best method to prevent Rh incompatibility complications. 

What does the RhoGAM shot do? It safeguards your baby’s red blood cells when it comes into contact with yours during labor. 

Thus, it prevents Rh-related complications in later pregnancies. Babies may develop the following conditions if this shot is not given: 

  • Anemia
  • Brain damage
  • Fluid build-up in the body
  • Heart failure
  • Jaundice
  • Lethargy
  • Low muscle tone
  • Seizure
  • Speech difficulties

If you are Rh-negative, take the RhoGAM shot with each baby unless your doctor tells otherwise. 

But if your baby is Rh-negative too, you can avoid this procedure. 

The RhoGAM acts as a prophylactic measure. Even if you have a miscarriage or pregnancy outside the uterus, it is safe to use. 

You may have bleeding after RhoGAM shot as a common side effect. Moreover, back pain when lying down can worsen due to the injection.

Still, be sure to differentiate between life-threatening blood clots and simple bleeding. Consult your obstetrician from time to time. 

Have Any Questions?

What happens if I don’t get my RhoGAM shot?

Pregnant mothers and fetuses have separate blood circulation. But at times, blood from the fetus can mix with the mother’s bloodstream. If the mother is Rh-negative, their immune system will attack the Rh-positive cells of the baby. Thus, when you do not get your RhoGAM shot, Rh sensitization occurs. Next, Rh incompatibility can occur with deadly signs.

How does RhoGAM prevent erythroblastosis fetalis?

Erythroblastosis fetalis occurs by mixing of different Rh factor blood types during pregnancy. This condition will cause acute destruction of the red blood cells in a fetus. Hence, the fetus will not get an adequate oxygen supply. RhoGAM can avoid Rh sensitization. It stops mothers from producing Rh-positive antibodies. But, it is not effective if you have experienced Rh sensitization in the last pregnancy.

When should I get a RhoGAM shot?

Answer: Injection is vital during 26-28 weeks of gestation. It prevents the body from developing antibodies. Besides, mothers will receive an extra RhoGAM shot within 72 hours of labor. Yet, this is not a one-time treatment. Every pregnancy will need a tailored dosage and therapy.

To Summarize

When is it too late to get RhoGAM shot? How late is too late? I hope this article cracked all your questions. 

Discovering that you and your baby are Rh incompatible can be challenging. But RhoGAM is safe and easy to administer. It is best to get it within 26-28 weeks of pregnancy.

Also, if you have any concerns about taking a blood product, you should speak to the health care team. Again, always consult a doctor if you have health problems before getting started.

Shaila Amaraj

Shaila Amaraj

Shaila Amaraj is an aspiring doctor who believes in turning ideas into reality. Otherwise; known as a freelance writer from Malaysia. She believes writing isn't a hobby; it's a blessing. Check out her posts in Wholesome Alive and anonymously named blog, "Sleep and Study", where she writes about ideas longer than 280 characters. Curious, creative, not a coffee drinker.

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