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Heartbroken Woman Advises Everyone To Screen For Thalassemia Before Getting Married

Heartbroken Woman Advises Everyone To Screen For Thalassemia Before Getting Married

Twitter user Farra decided to split with her fiancé after they discovered they are both thalassemia carriers.

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Twitter user Farra’s (@FarraDiana_) breakup with her fiancé made many netizens cry for her. Farra and her fiancé are one of the many couples who face the tough decision of going their separate ways due to thalassemia.

Thalassemia is an inherited blood disorder that causes the body to have less haemoglobin than normal. Haemoglobin helps our red blood cells to carry oxygen and a lack of this can result in fatigue and anaemia.

While people with mild thalassemia do not need treatment, those with severe anaemia will require regular blood transfusions.  

Farra explained that her fiancé has told her earlier in their relationship that he was a thalassemia carrier but she thought she wasn’t a carrier.

After they got engaged, she decided to go for a check-up just to be safe.

Unfortunately, the test revealed that she is also a carrier. If they decide to have children together in the future, the risk of their children suffering from thalassemia is high and it would be unfair to their children.

Farra explained that when both parents are carriers, the child has a high risk of getting major thalassemia.

After months of discussion and tons of heartbreak, Farra and her fiancé decided to call off their engagement and agreed it was the best way for them.

They agreed they shouldn’t be selfish and couldn’t afford the risk after thinking about their future baby.

Farra advised everyone to do a thalassemia test before going serious in a relationship to avoid a heartbreak like hers.

Netizens were sad to hear about their separation but also understood why the couple had to make the tough call. They praised the couple for making a brave decision and wished them both the best.

Some netizens also shared their pain regarding thalassemia. A netizen said their parents were both carriers but did not test themselves. Sadly, all three children ended up having thalassemia.

A netizen also suggested Farra consult a genetic counsellor as not all thalassemia carrier combination result in major thalassemia.

How to check for thalassemia?

According to Info Sihat, people can check for thalassemia at any government health clinic.

Patients will undergo a blood test so that their haemoglobin levels could be analysed. The analysis is also to check whether the patient is anaemic or a thalassemia carrier.

There are two types of thalassemia: alpha-thalassemia and beta-thalassemia.

In severe thalassemia cases, some complications that can occur include bone deformities, enlarged spleen, slowed growth rates, and heart issues.

There are no cures for thalassemia. However, couples who still want to try to have a baby can consult with a genetic counsellor for further guidance or DNA tests to make a plan.

In 2016, the Health Ministry introduced free thalassemia screenings among Form 4 students. The screening that was carried out between 2016 and 2018 detected 31,716 carriers out of 689,460 students. This screening still requires parental permission for individuals under 18 years old.

Note: This is not meant to be a comprehensive health guide and it’s recommended to consult with your doctor to know more about thalassemia.

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