Islamic marriage advice and family advice

We are both thalassemia carriers, should we try for a baby or give up?

Thalassemia red blood cells

Thalassemia is an inherited disorder. It leads to the decreased production and increased destruction of red blood cells.

When we got married we both knew we were thalassemia carriers.

(Thalassemia is an inherited disorder. It leads to the decreased production and increased destruction of red blood cells).

We had a baby once and found that baby was a thalassaemia major and we did an abortion thinking of the baby's future.

We want to have another baby and we are worried we will be punished if we have to do an abortion again.

What should we do? Should we separate or is it ok to try for baby? Someone please help!

- sophia9

Editor's Note:

Here's some information about Thalassemia for those who don't know. As as mentioned, it's an inherited disease that affects the red blood cells. There are two forms of the disease, minor and major. When both parents carry the gene for Thalassemia minor, the child could be born with no illness, or could be a Thalassemia minor carrier, or could have Thalassemia major. There is no way to predict in advance.

Persons with the minors form have small red blood cells (that can be seen under a microscope), but no symptoms. They are only carriers.Thalassemia minor occurs if a child receives the defective gene from only one parent.

A child must inherit the defective gene from both parents to develop thalassemia major. Children born with thalessemia major are normal at birth, but develop severe anemia during the first year of life.

Other symptoms can include:

  • Bone deformities in the face
  • Fatigue
  • Growth failure
  • Liver and spleen swelling
  • Shortness of breath
  • Yellow skin (jaundice)

So the major form of the illness is quite serious, and can sometimes cause early death due to heart failure, between the ages of 20 and 30. Blood transfusions can help control some symptoms, but may result in too much iron which can damage the heart, liver, and endocrine system.

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30 Responses »

  1. Salaam my Sister,

    What a difficult situation. I would like to first of all explain that I am not medically qualified in any way to give you proper advice on this and for this reason I would advise that you ask your Doctor for a session with a qualified genetic counsellor. Genetic counsellors are trained to advise you on the best options available to you to have a healthy child, inshaAllah.

    There is a process called Pre Implantation Genetic Diagnosis, which is an IVF process in which only embryo's which are not carrying serious illness are implanted into the mother. This is expensive, lengthy and can be very emotionally exhausting for a couple, and of course it carries no guarantees. I have looked up a few Islamic sources on this, and the information I have found so far is that is it permissible to undergo this process if it is to avoid a very serious health risk for the child or the mother, so I am sure that Islamically this would be a permissible option for you, but again - please do double check this as much as you can, as I am not an expert in this field.

    I pray that all doors towards having a healthy child are opened for you with ease and good faith.


  2. Thalassemia has become worldwide health issue. it is prevailing rapidly and we need to control this blood disorder as asoon as possible. i am not doctor but carrier of this disease and want to promote awareness among my readers about this problem.
    As you know that beta thalassemia is a single gene inherited blood disorder, which transfer from one generation to another. it has two types, one is thalassemia minor and another is thalassemia major. thalassemia minor exists normal life only mild anemia can make them tired. thalassemia major is seriouse problem beecause they need regular blood transfusions and they need proper medications.
    prevention is better than cure. we can prevent our future generation by pre-marital and pre-natal blood creening. we should avoid marriage between two minors, if they get married than we should encourage them to go for pre-natal screening to avoid thalassemia major babies.
    get ready for test " HB Electrophoresis" to save future generation. dont waist your time, money and life.
    Islamabad Pakistan

  3. I m a beta thalassemia carrier and my husband also a beta thalassemia carrier....can any one tell me,, it is possible to get normal baby to us

    • My husband and I are both carriers. We had a cvs for both pregnancies to rule out Beta thal major. We have a 25% chance of having a child with major and a 75% chance of a healthy baby. We have two beautiful baby boys who are beta thal minor like we are. I can't imagine my life without them. It's worth trying 100%. Not worth losing your love over it either. Good luck!!

      • Thumbs Up. n Thanks.

      • Hi jen..u did cvs during ur pregnancy..just wondering if it turned out to be positive major will u proceed with it?what is u next step?we are both carriers too and in dilemma to hv the 2nd baby..our first son has the minor trait like us too..need some advise on this..

  4. My family all are alpha carrier and I'm not sure with mine will I be a alpha carrier?
    My partner is a beta carrier, we are planning to get married next year, can we have a normal baby if I am a alpha carrier?
    Please suggest me something.

    • No one can tell you what kind of baby you will have. Only Allah knows. However, a doctor can tell you the possible risks. We are not qualified to provide such information. If you are very concerned about it, then it might be wise to choose another partner, one who is not a carrier.

      Wael Editor

    • science has proved that a beta-alpha carrier couple will insha Allah get normal children.
      May Allah bless you. aameen!!!

    • Statistically I think there should be one in 4 chance of getting a NORMAL, one in 4 chance of getting alpha carrier, one in 4 chance of getting a beta carrier, one in 4 chance of getting both alpha and beta together. I am just a layman. You should talk to a hematologist for complete picture of what can happen.

  5. a beta thalassaemia carrier & alpha thalassaemia carrier can never have a thalassaemia major baby,
    health experts councelled me..:) so inasha, don't worry..:)

  6. Salam I am thalesemia minor and my partner is major if we do get maried can we have a baby that's not thalesemia major?please help i

  7. Hello.. It's me inasha again.
    i've done DNA 10 days back and got the result today.
    I'm a alpha 2+ thalassemia carrier..
    I did talk to the genetic counsillor about my boyfriend as he is a beta thalassemia carrier, they say that alpha 2 plus and a beta will get normal baby and baby might be a alpha or beta carrier but won't be a major!
    Insha Allah we'll be getting married soon 🙂

    • Salam it has been more than 3years for saying you will get married i wanted to be sure that everything is going ok with you and did u get healthy baby? Cause iam alpha silent carrier and my husband is beta and with respect to famous genetic doctors they said it is unlikely to have major thalasemia but it seems they are mistaken cause after having two healthy babies i had 3 times case called hydrops fetalis which is case of alpha major thalassemia so baby died during pregnancy after suffering from fluid all over his body hope this will never happen to you thanks alot

  8. hi all, hope you're doing well.
    I'm Walaa from Lebanon. I was born with beta thalassemia major. I'm now 22 and I'm having blood transfusion every month with a daily medication for excess iron and thanks God everything is good or maybe I got used to this. As an experienced person and the information- medical and relegious, I can say that a person with beta thalassemia major can NOT marry a person with beta thalassemia minor (carrier) and can NOT marry a person with beta thalassemia major. Also, a person with beta thalassemia minor (carrier) can NOT marry a person with beta thalassemia minor (carrier). Thus, a person with beta thalassemia minor (carrier) or major can only marry a normal person with no beta thalassemia at all, or you will have a baby with beta thalassemia major.
    Recently, some studies ensure that Invitro Fertilization (IvF) can be a solution to get a normal baby, where a normal sperm is taken from the man and fertiles a normal ovum from the woman; whether the parents have beta thalassemia major or minor.
    But everyone in the world should do the tests more than once to make sure that they can marry because prevention is better than a cure.
    Goodluck everyone 🙂

  9. salaam. .
    i am a alpha carrier and my boyfriend is also an alpha carrier. . can we have a normal baby? please help me. .

  10. ASA sis, i have been a nurse over 10 yrs now and i have seen alot of patientd with thas major and a majority were severe in 20-30s.. The oldest in uk i met is around 45 today. To be on the same side i would sit with a genetic coinselor and look into ivf as they can pull both gametes and see the likelihood which i would think is low if your alpha +2 of having a thas major child

  11. a hemoglobin E carrier and my partner is beta thal carrier..we want to get married soon and i want to know the possiblities of getting a thalasemic child

    • @Sama 25% chance your kid could have hemoglobin E/β-thalassemia by inheritng one gene for hemoglobin E from one parent and one gene for β-thalassemia from the other parent. Hemoglobin E/β-thalassemia has no universal cure.

      You should consult a hematologist before marrying

  12. Me & my hus both are thalassemia minor. In my earlier pregnancy we have done CVS test and the baby was major thalassemia , then we abort the child. After two year I got pregnant again and this time the baby is normal by grace of God. So, don't worry only 25% chances of thalassemia major, 50% minor & 25% Normal. so, there is a hope of 75%.

  13. I have been through the same on my first. Hopefully the second one will be fine.

    Wish you all the best.

  14. I am pregnant,and my husband and I are both SILENT CARRIER For Alpha-Thalassemia(aa/a-) . will the baby be a carrier,minor,or major?

    • Assalaamualaykum Noris,

      I think you should consult someone specializing in Genetics for an answer, or wait for a doctor on here to respond.

      And Allah knows best,



  15. Thalassemia appears to have developed over the ages to prevent malaria in the Mediterranean area including Asia and Africa.

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