- What is a Genotype?
A genotype is the entire genetic constitution of an individual, i.e. the genetic makeup of an organism or group of organisms with reference to a single trait, set of traits, or an entire complex of traits. In a nutshell: your genotype is your complete heritable genetic identity; the sum total of genes transmitted from parent to offspring.
There are four hemoglobin genotypes (hemoglobin pairs/formations) in humans: AA, AS, SS and AC (uncommon). SS and AC are the abnormal genotypes or the sickle cells. We all have a specific pair of these hemoglobin in our blood which we inherited from both parents.
- Why it’s Important to Know Your Genotype
Knowing one’s hemoglobin genotype before choosing a life partner is important because there may be compatibility issues which could have devastating effects when it comes to conception.
Individuals with sickle cells experience severe pains in body parts where oxygen flow is compromised due to blockage in the blood vessels.
- AA can marry anybody
- AS is better off with AA
- AS and AS, AS and AC are too risky
- SS should only marry AA
- Two sickle cells = avoid conception
The biggest mistake people make when it comes to genotype is marrying someone not compatible with them all in the name of love. You do not only endanger your marriage but the yet to be born children. No one wants to spend their years in hospital beds but most children with sickle cell live that way. They also have a large probability of not making it to adulthood or not living a really lengthy life. Marriage is a forever thing so think about 20, 30,40 years from now whether you will still be proud of any decision you make.