Picture used for illustrative purpose. AFP
Saratu Abubakar, Staff Reporter
From the job you take on down to the relationship you build, compatibility is an essential ingredient for success.
When it comes to human interaction, to be compatible with another person is to have similarities that make it easy to co-exist. To achieve that is to know yourself and everything that makes you tick. However, one aspect of compatibility that is not often talked about in terms of a reproductive relationship is that of genotype.
People get into relationships for different reasons. If you are one of those in a relationship with the hope of getting a child out of it, it is vital for the genotypes of you and your partner to be compatible.
Firstly, do you know your genotype?
A genotype is a heritable genetic makeup of a living thing (organisms), it can be passed from a parent to an offspring. Genotypes are of various types, the three major groups are, AA, AS and SS.
AA is normal, AS is a carrier and SS is a sickler. The safest cross-breeding is for those with AA genotype, they can be with anyone but for those with other genotypes, it is best to be with AA. That means it is not advisable to be AS and decide to go with a partner of AS or SS genotype if you have the intentions of reproducing.
However, life is not always black and white and when emotions are involved decision making is not always easy.
After ten years and raising a sickle cell child, this couple has decided to control their conceiving. Their situation is a case of ignorance, they were not aware of the wife’s genotype before the marriage.
“I knew my genotype before we got married,” mentioned the husband.
He described his wife as an amazing person. Going their separate ways wasn’t an option after they found out her genotype.
“She is a wonderful woman, we have been married for 10 years and have never had any misunderstanding,” he added.
However, having a seven-year-old sickle cell warrior has forced them to make decisions that can help them curb bringing in another warrior.
Young and aware of the importance of genotype compatibility, this woman is about to get married to her partner despite both being of AS genotype and also aware of the implications.
“I have always known I was AS I just didn’t care because we were just friends initially. I can’t remember the exact moment I found out about his genotype,” she said.
Eventually, things got serious for the couple and they decided to try other options when it is time to have kids instead of going their separate ways.
According to her, “I was made aware of preimplantation genetic diagnosis and I didn’t have a problem with it.”
“I feel like it is an option people should consider more, life is short,” she added.
Preimplantation genetic diagnosis is the act of profiling the genetics of embryo before implantation. It is one of the other options available. Adoption, bone marrow transplant are some of the options.
The respondent above is one out of a good number of people that are going ahead with marriage despite not being compatible. Although it will always seem like a reckless decision, people are trying other things to curb bringing in a sickle cell warrior into the world.
When it comes to emotions, what is easy for A might not be easy for B. It is best to go your separate ways if the genotypes of you and your partner are not compatible.
Going your separate way is easy to say but it can be hard.
This is where the other alternatives come into play. People that insist on being together should consider the alternative options medically available.
However, to avoid being in an uncomfortable situation and going through emotional roller coaster, it is important to know your genotype and that of your prospective partner from the onset.
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