The Rh factor is a protein that can be found on the surface of red blood cells. If your blood cells have this protein, you are Rh positive. If your blood cells do not have this protein, you are Rh negative. During pregnancy, problems can occur if you are Rh negative and your fetus is Rh positive. Treatment can be given to prevent these problems.
The Rh blood group system is a human blood group system. It contains proteins on the surface of red blood cells. After the ABO blood group system, it is the most likely to be involved in transfusion reactions. The Rh blood group system consists of 49 defined blood group antigens, among which the five antigens D, C, c, E, and e are the most important. There is no d antigen. Rh(D) status of an individual is normally described with a positive (+) or negative (–) suffix after the ABO type (e.g., someone who is A+ has the A antigen and Rh(D) antigen, whereas someone who is A– has the A antigen but lacks the Rh(D) antigen). The terms Rh factor, Rh positive, and Rh negative refer to the Rh(D) antigen only. Antibodies to Rh antigens can be involved in hemolytic transfusion reactions and antibodies to the Rh(D) and Rh antigens confer a significant risk of hemolytic disease of the fetus and newborn.