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Q. I have beta thalassemia and trying for my second baby. What test should I look into?

Answered by
Dr. Parth R Goswami
and medically reviewed by Dr. Vinodhini. J
This is a premium question & answer published on Jul 13, 2020

Hello doctor,

My HBA2 is 5.8 (beta-thalassemia trait) and my husband HBA2 is 4. We have a daughter whose HBA2 is 3.6 (delta beta thalassemia trait). We do not have any issues still now. We are planning for the second issue. Please suggest. What test required and how much safety is there?

Dr. Parth R Goswami

Hematology Pathology


Welcome to

You are certainly having beta thalassemia minor. But your husband's HBA2 value is borderline. So to confirm the diagnosis of beta thalassemia minor of him by CBC (complete blood count), peripheral smear examination report, and genetic study in the good laboratory.

If your husband is confirmed with beta thalassemia minor than conception is not advisable. And if somehow you plan the second conception then amniocentesis like procedure should be done during fetal development to rule out thalassemia major.

When both partner are having thalassemia minor and got married chance of a child with thalassemia major is 25% which is the main culprit. So confirm your husband's thalassemia status.

I hope this helps.

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Thank you doctor,

Can you provide a prescription for CBC, peripheral smear examination report, and genetic study? I am worried as we are planning for a second baby and my period is delayed by 15 days.

Dr. Parth R Goswami

Hematology Pathology


Welcome back to

You can visit a good hospital or some corporate hospital where hematologist is available. Your hematologist will suggest you necessary investigation to rule out thalassemia minor for your husband.

The required investigations for him as follows.

1. CBC (complete blood count).

2. Peripheral smear examination report.

3. HPLC (high-performance liquid chromatography) to rule out beta thalassemia.

4. Molecular testing by PCR (polymerase chain reaction) to rule out beta thalassemia minor if your doctor feels that.

You can revert back with reports once done.

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