ZocdocAnswersI was told that I have antibodies in my blood. What does it mean?

Question

I was told that I have antibodies in my blood. What does it mean?

When I went in for my c section they drew blood and then came back in the room and asked if I had ever had a transfusion. I said no, and she said are you sure? Because the lab said you have antibodies in your blood. What does that mean?

Answer

I recommend that you speak with your primary care doctor to discuss your concern. Antibodies are a part of our immune system. Antibodies are formed when there are foreign proteins in your body. For example, when you have an infection, your body can produce antibodies to get rid of that infection. People can develop antibodies in different ways. Transfusions are when someone gets blood products from another person. There are specific proteins on each of our cells. When someone gets a transfusion, there can be foreign proteins that your body does not recognize; thus, they can form antibodies. If there is a big mismatch between you and the foreign proteins, a transfusion reaction can occur. Transfusion reactions can be life threatening. Another time when antibodies are brought up is when a woman is pregnant. Since the child is genetically different from the mother, there could be mixing of the babies blood and the mother's blood. This can cause antibodies to develop in the mother. When the mother has another child, those antibodies could cause harm in the mother's next pregnancy. Antibodies can be very dangerous. Again, you should make an appointment with your primary care doctor to discuss any concerns you may have another antibodies, and how to prevent any harm when you have another pregnancy.

This answer is for general informational purposes only and is not a substitute for professional medical advice.

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