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Women's health

Alpha Thalassemia Carrier

2 replies

soulfulsarah · 14/02/2020 19:08

Hi all,

I'm wondering if there are any doctors or anyone on here that can advise me further about this.

I just found out via phone call from my GP that I am a carrier of alpha thalassemia. This all came from me having various blood tests due to my ovarian cyst diagnosis. My red blood cells are slightly smaller than usual. My doctor said there isn't anything to worry about, I am just a carrier of AT. Its common in certain ethnic groups (I'm of Indian decent). My GP said if I'm planning on having children my partner should also get tested but it's unlikely he is a carrier because he's Caucasian but get tested anyway.

My doctor was in a hurry because it was a phone consultation so didn't really tell me much else. However I'm now worried how this might affect my future children. I don't have kids just yet, but me and my partner are planning on having children once we have purchased our first property. Will they be just a carrier too or will they have health problems. Can we/should we even have children?

Apparently I'm a carrier because its been passed on by one of my parents as they are likely also a carrier.

Can anyone advise further? x

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Sussexmidwife · 14/02/2020 22:36

This isn’t something to worry about. It is a variant of normal and in most cases the only relevance is that it makes your blood tests more tricky to interpret if we are thinking your haemoglobin is a bit low & if iron supplements might be helpful
It is a characteristic you have inherited ( like hair colour etc). There are certain types of variant which can cause issues in combination with other variants. This isn’t a problematic variant and will not affect you having children

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soulfulsarah · 17/02/2020 08:29

Thank you for the helpful insight, it did worry me becsuse they doctor didn't really explain it properly. He asked me if I had heard of sickle cell disease which I said yes to, and he said not everyone has it but some people are carriers, you are a carrier of the AT but you don't have it. I felt my anxiety go through the roof. I think I'll still try and get in with my actual GP to have a proper consultation with them so I'm clear on everything. x

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