Generally, if both parents are carriers, they may give birth to children with Thalassaemia. In Hong Kong, it is common to see both parents who are α-Thalassaemia or β-Thalassaemia minor carriers, giving birth to children with α-Thalassaemia or β-Thalassaemia major.
Now, it is simple to get tested to see if you might be a carrier of either types of Thalassaemia through an easy blood test. If both you and your partner are β-Thalassaemia minor carriers, each of your children will have 25% of chance to be ‘normal’, 50% of chance of becoming a Thalassaemia carrier, and 25% of chance of becoming a patient with Thalassaemia Major. Since α-Thalassaemia comes with more complex detective genes, you have to take a more detailed genetic analysis in order to know whether you have a chance in passing that defective gene to your children.
If you already know that both you and your partner are either α-Thalassaemia or β-Thalassaemia carriers, consult your obstetrician regarding prenatal diagnosis. If both parents do not want to bring a child into the world with suffering, doctors are able to terminate a pregnancy at the early stages. Doing an abortion at the early stages, guarantees a better health for the woman.