Is your genotype compatible with your partner’s?

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Your genotype is a major determinants of who you will marry. You should marry who your genotype is compatible with. You cannot afford to risk having sickle cell disease children because of the physical, emotional and psychological impact it brings on the couple and extended families as a whole.


A lot of sickle cell disease patients visit the emergency department of hospitals nowadays and you tend to wonder why this disease is still rampant. Is it that people are aware and decided to ignore the information on genotype or we just assume they know but do not? It is better not to assume that they have the required knowledge but rather enlighten the masses on what genotype is. It is very important especially in marriage issues.

Our teenagers and youth need to be educated and reminded constantly about the importance of genotype. They need to be aware of the burden that can come with having sickle cell disease children. Part of the training that ought to be taught in schools should be genotype and blood group. A lot of youth would have started courtship and gone far in love before testing if their genotype and blood group are compatible. Some will even wait till after invitation card has been sent out for marriage before they go for the test. At this juncture, they will prefer to carry their cross rather than culling off the marriage.

The training on genotype and blood group should start at teenage years. Parents should also be involved in this. In the olden days, people were not aware of genotype and blood group incompatibility. They notice that pregnancy get aborted, children become stunted and die but this was attributed to witches and wizard. This is the modern era, you should not only be informed but you need to be educated. You should take action and prevent the physical, emotional, financial and psychological burden associated with sickle cell disease.

There are two things that are important for intending couples to know and understand:

1. Genotype

2. Blood group and rhesus factor

Usually, we do not talk about blood group and rhesus factor compatibility as a prerequisite for marriage. The effect of this is usually mild and can be managed.

Know who to marry

Your genotype is your genetic makeup and this determines who you will marry. We have 5 major types:

1. AA

2. AS

3. SS

4. AC

5. SC

AC and SC are not common.
CC was not mentioned because it is extremely rare.
‘S’ and ‘C ’ are abnormal genes, thou ‘C’ appear to be milder. Usually people that have the two abnormal genes are called sicklers. Let’s cross match this and see who you can marry.

1. AA + AA =  AA,  AA , AA,  AA     ✔

2. AA + AS =  AA,  AS,  AA,  AS     

3. AA + AC =  AA,  AC,  AA,  AC   

4. AA + SS =  AS,  AS,  AS,  AS     

5. AA + SC =  AS,  AC,  AS,  AC     ✔

6. AS + AS =  AA,  AS,  AS,  SS        X

7. AS + SS =  AS,  AS,  SS,  SS          X

8. AS + AC =  AA,  AC,  AS,  SC       X

9. AS + SC =  AS,  AC,  SS,  SC        X

10. SS + SS =  SS,  SS,  SS,  SS        X  

11. SS + AC =  AS,  SC,  AS,  SC       X

12. SS + SC =  SS,  SC,  SS,  SC       X

13. AC + AC =  AA,  AC,  AC,  CC   X

14. AC + SC =  AS,  AS,  SC,  CC     X

15. SC + SC =  SS,  SC,  SC,  CC      X


From the above, the couples side means either the man or the woman can have either of the genotypes. To the children’s side, this shows that the probability of them having children with any of those genotype is high. In view of this, only couple whose genotype was crossmatched from (1-5) above can marry each other and those from  (6-15) should avoid getting married as their chances of giving birth to a sickler is 25- 100%.

You should also ensure that you and your intending partner reconfirm your genotype in at least 2 different places even if you were declared to be AA.


Issues related to genotype should not be taken with levity. It is better to feel hurt and get healed than to marry who your genotype is not compatible with and have a burden you will have to carry for the rest of your life.

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Dr Kay
About Dr Kay 58 Articles
As a physician, I love to give answers to several questions bothering people, educating them on how to be healthy, breaking down what their present condition is all about and counselling them on how to manage their condition.

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