Is there anything bad about the WinRho shot (Rh -factor)? - Mothering Forums

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#1 of 18 Old 02-14-2007, 12:15 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Hi all. I have another question .

I have been reading a lot of these vax threads and have been learning a lot. This has answered a lot of my questions but I have haven't seen any threads about the WinRho shot.

When I was 3 months pregnant I began spotting some. I went in to the obstretrics clinic and they gave me a WinRho shot since my blood type is o- and my dh's is A+. THey also gave me the same shot at 23 weeks and then again right after labour (my babe turned out to be A+).

THe doc said in the past many women who's blood was negative and their husbands positive would began to have sickly babies after the third babe or so and that they could even die. She said the shot would keep this from happening. I understand how the basics of the shot work and thought it sounded great.

Now after reading a lot of the hidden truths behind vaxs I am wondering if this one is harmless? Even if it is not is it nesessary? I am wondering because I plan to have more children and they said I would have to get this shot with every pregnancy.

Any info on this shot ladies?? Thanks in advance.
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#2 of 18 Old 02-14-2007, 12:29 PM
 
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I too am A- I recieved Rhogam. I don't belive it is harmless........at all. I recieved it at 9 weeks, & again at 28 weeks. At my 32 week U/S my dd was diagnosed with a brain bleed. Do I think it is related? ABSOLUTELY

I didn't think about it at the time, but then questioned it with my next PG, yet did it anyway.
Most of the women here are much better informed than I.
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#3 of 18 Old 02-14-2007, 12:30 PM
 
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this is a live vaccine and contains mercury which you are exposing your child to in utero. Its also uncertain how well it does work to prevent sensitization (which could put future pregnancies at risk). However, just because your DH is a positive blood type does not necessarily mean that all your babies will be positive as well. Your DH may be +- or ++. You'd have to have him get a full typing test to find out. In any case - please do a search for Rh- on the pregnancy and birth professional forums. We have had lots of discussions on the pros and cons associated with this vax. I'm RH- too with a + partner, and found this to be a tough decision. I recommend Anti-D in Midwifery - gives a lot of good info (without a definite conclusion) but gives the history of how it came about and the studies used (most from the 60s) to form the current recommendations.
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#4 of 18 Old 02-14-2007, 12:42 PM
 
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this is a live vaccine and contains mercury which you are exposing your child to in utero.
I thought the live vaccines (eg. MMR, FluMist) didn't contain mercury. ??? But I have read that RhoGam contains thimerisol (or used to, at least).

I was worried about this for myself, since I got the shots, too, and I called my OB's office to request the package insert. What I got was an insert for Rhophylac, made by ZLB Behring. From what I could see of the ingredients, they included: human plasma proteins (some of which is human albumin), glycine and sodium chloride. No preservative, and I didn't see any mention of thimerisol. I don't have enough knowledge of these ingredients to know whether they are problematic or whether this is a live virus.
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#5 of 18 Old 02-14-2007, 01:55 PM
 
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thanks junomama - there has been a mercury free Rhogram available since 2001..I don't have any data on whether or not the mercury free is the only available now - or one of many options. I only took rhogam in 1996 with my first pregnancy - so my data on that was a little out of date

rhogam is a blood product, made from the blood plasma of rh- women who have already been sensitized. you never really know what you are getting when you have a blood product injected into your body because they can only rule out virus' they know to screen for. See below regarding the rh- vax contamination in the 80's (in Ireland):

http://www.pubmedcentral.nih.gov/art...?artid=1118271

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He is accused of acting negligently during a period of years in the late 1970s and 1980s, when about 1600 women became infected with hepatitis C, through receiving contaminated anti-D immunoglobulin.
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#6 of 18 Old 02-14-2007, 02:28 PM
 
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THe doc said in the past many women who's blood was negative and their husbands positive would began to have sickly babies after the third babe or so and that they could even die. She said the shot would keep this from happening. I understand how the basics of the shot work and thought it sounded great.
Yes, the rates of babies suffering from HDN were no doubt higher in the past, but having been through one isoimmuninzed pregnancy already and planning to go through another, I can tell you that with adequate and competent care by a perinatalogist or MFM specialist, the risk of severe HDN or loss from it is greatly lowered. Also, the shot is NOT 100% and has a failure rate. I am an example of winrho failure. I received prenatal winrho and received another dose again at delivery and was sensitized anyway.

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Now after reading a lot of the hidden truths behind vaxs I am wondering if this one is harmless? Even if it is not is it nesessary? I am wondering because I plan to have more children and they said I would have to get this shot with every pregnancy.
It is NOT harmless. I would really question its use during pregnancy. It is a class C drug and is derived from human blood products, so the insert does advise that it may contain viruses etc. not screened for. If I were to get it at all (and I doubt I would now, even in hindsight) I would definitely wait until after delivery.

Check out the link in my siggie. There's a great discussion of winrho/rhogam there.

Mother to DD#1  s/b @40w 2003 for unknown reasons; DD#2   9.5 years old; DS  6 years old 
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#7 of 18 Old 02-14-2007, 03:09 PM
 
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I tried to bump up this thread - http://www.mothering.com/discussions...d.php?t=455838 not sure if it worked.
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#8 of 18 Old 02-14-2007, 03:10 PM
 
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Can we differentiate between WinRho and RhoGam and discuss?

I used WinRho in lieu of RhoGam: a)because it didn't contain mercury and b) because it seemed "safer" - read: more purified-- than RhoGam.

But I haven't researched it in a few years.

Blessed Mama to 4 and expecting one more!
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#9 of 18 Old 02-14-2007, 03:14 PM
 
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RhoGam has been mercury-free for many years. All the ones with mercury have now expired.
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#10 of 18 Old 02-14-2007, 03:25 PM
 
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Originally Posted by janellesmommy View Post
RhoGam has been mercury-free for many years. All the ones with mercury have now expired.
Yes, I'm aware of that. But that was not the case when I first researched it.

Blessed Mama to 4 and expecting one more!
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#11 of 18 Old 02-14-2007, 04:08 PM
 
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Originally Posted by beanbean View Post
Can we differentiate between WinRho and RhoGam and discuss?

I used WinRho in lieu of RhoGam: a)because it didn't contain mercury and b) because it seemed "safer" - read: more purified-- than RhoGam.

But I haven't researched it in a few years.
I think they are exactly the same except a different name because available in different countries. It's RhoGam in the states and WinRho in Canada and abroad.

I chose not to get a prenatal shot with my last pg. I did get the postpartum shot after she was born and did indeed have positive blood. I'm willing to take a risk with myself to help protect any future babies. However I did not feel the risk was strong enough prenatally to have my baby exposed to it in utero. There have been lots of threads on it and I've written tons more there but I'm feeling a bit fried right at this moment.
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#12 of 18 Old 02-14-2007, 04:43 PM
 
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If I understand correctly there are still bad ingredients in either and your baby can't expel those things in utero. I would just get the shot after birth if the baby ended up being the opposite blood type.
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#13 of 18 Old 02-14-2007, 05:17 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Thanks for all your info ladies. I am in Canada so I had the WinRho shot. I am sure that it did not have mercury in it.

Can anyone provide me with a link that shows the danger it can be to an unborn baby?

Why does one get at 23 weeks anyway? My understanding is that the danger og the whole rh factor is if the babe has positive blood and this comes into contact with my blood. So the chance of this happening during pregnancy must be very low. So then only labour could be a problem, right? As some of you mentioned only getting the shot after labour.

Thanks again.
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#14 of 18 Old 02-14-2007, 05:24 PM
 
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the standard in America is 28 weeks - not 23. Is 23 weeks the standard in Canada? I don't have a link - just the info I got from Anti-D in Midwifery (anti-D is what they call it in England). I'm sorry - you won't find a 'study' documenting risks to newborns. with some research though you'll see that this isn't necessarily something that has been studied. The studies done have primarily been to see if there is an increase/decrease in sensitization of the mother.
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#15 of 18 Old 02-14-2007, 07:53 PM
 
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Originally Posted by 13Sandals View Post
this is a live vaccine and contains mercury which you are exposing your child to in utero.
I don't think either of these statements are accurate, but it is a tough decision. Here's why.

Anti-d is the very substance that causes disease in Rh+ babies of Rh- mothers. They get the antibodies into their systems and their immune systems attack their own blood.

The idea is that if you inject a mom who is NOT making these antibodies with a small amount of them, the baby will not be harmed (much) and if some of an Rh+ baby's blood gets into her system, she will use the donor antibodies instead of her own antibodies and it will avoid harm in future pregnancies.

It's the (much) that I found difficult to deal with, especially as OBs are so ... either omitting or deceptive about what's going on. You inject a known harmful substance because you have some fuzzy beliefs that it's not going to affect the baby? Please. My OB in my first pregnancy said that "Rhogam does not cross the placenta". Oh really? If that's the case then what do I have to worry about being sensitized for?
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#16 of 18 Old 02-14-2007, 09:42 PM - Thread Starter
 
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the standard in America is 28 weeks - not 23. Is 23 weeks the standard in Canada? .
I am sorry. I really do not remember. It could very well have been 28 weeks. With everything that went on in those days I am a little fuzzy at remembering everything.
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#17 of 18 Old 02-14-2007, 10:10 PM
 
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this is a live vaccine and contains mercury
Live vaccines don't contain mercury : .

"It should be a rule in all prophylactic work that no harm should ever be unnecessarily inflicted on a healthy person (Sir Graham Wilson, The Hazards of Immunization, 1967)."
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#18 of 18 Old 02-14-2007, 11:37 PM
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To offer another perspective. . . .

Rh factor is a factor found in blood. It makes up one part of your blood type. Rh+ individuals have Rh factor. Rh- individuals do not have Rh factor, and make antibodies against it when exposed to it.

Rh factor is dominant in inerheritance. Thus, an Rh- woman with an Rh+ partner will have an Rh+ baby if her partner is homozygous (++) and has a 50% chance of having an Rh+ baby if her partner is heterozygous (+-).

Rh- moms will make antibodies against Rhesus factor once exposed. These antibodies can attack the blood cells of an Rh+ fetus in subsequent pregnancies. While blood does not typically cross the placental barrier, antibodies do.

Typically, maternal exposure to fetal blood does not occur until delivery, and sometimes not even then. Exposure can also occur in the event of a serious hemmorage. For example, if a pregnant woman is traumatically injured (for example, in a car accident) placental hemmorhage may cause maternal-fetal blood mixing.

In the past, Rh- moms with Rh+ partners (especially Rh+ homozygous partners) lost babies to a condition known as Rh disease. Their first children were usually healthy, but subsequent babies were brain damaged because of hemmorhages, or are stillborn. This was caused by the destruction of the fetuses' Rh+ red blood cells my antibodies from the mother's immune system. WHen the red blood cells were destroyed, oxygen could not be transported to the fetuses' cells, causing death of tissue.

Rhogam and similar products provide antibodies that are intended to prevent this. The antibodies in the shot respond to any blood mixing. Because the "foreign" antibodies (from the Rhogam) are available, the mother's body does not manufacture its own antibodies. Because the foreign antibodies are limited, they cannot cause the same kind of large-scale damage to the fetus as the mother's unchecked immune response.

Typically, Rhogam is given to mothers shortly after birth to protect subsequent pregnancies. Many health care providers in the US also give Rhogam to pregnant women at 28 weeks to protect against immune responses that may occur as a result of unforseeable accidents. Rhogam is also often administered to RH- women who have abortions or miscarriages, to protect future pregnancies. Occasionally, Rhogam is given to Rh- female babies with Rh+ moms, if there has been significant maternal hemmorhage during delivery.

Rhogam does not completely eliminate the risk of Rh disease. It does provide significant protection against it. It no longer contains mercury. According to the CDC, there has only been one case of suspected HIV transmission from Rhogam. The suspected case turned out to be the result of exposure through other behavioral factors. Rhogam is intensively screened. It is possible that some disease somewhere will someday turn out to be or to have been transmitted by Rhogam. No such disease has yet been discovered.

IMO, this medication is safe, especially if only used at need, instead of just injected willy-nilly at 28 and 40 weeks. For many women, it's not necessary. If you have an Rh+ baby or a placental hemmorhage, you can get it then.
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