Skip to content
Home » Blogs » Sickle Cell Disease and Pregnancy: Important things you should know

Sickle Cell Disease and Pregnancy: Important things you should know

 

Sickle Cell Disease and Pregnancy: Important things you should know

If a woman with Sickle Cell Disease is pregnant, she and her unborn baby are more likely to have health complications than a woman without SCD. Pregnancy renders pregnant women more vulnerable to severe SCD symptoms, especially frequent pain episodes, preterm labor, low birth weight baby and others.

However, if a woman with SCD gets proper early prenatal care and careful monitoring throughout her pregnancy, she will be fine.

Can I pass Sickle Cell Disease or the trait to my children?

Of course, yes. But you and your partner have to both have SCD for your baby to have SCD, or one of you has to have the trait for your children to inherit the trait.

How can I find out during pregnancy that I have SCD or sickle cell trait?

It’s better to test for both SCD and the trait when you plan to have a baby with a partner. Both tests are safe during pregnancy. The tests are:

·         A blood test

·         A swab of cells in your mouth using a cotton swab rubbed against the inside of your cheek to collect some cells.

 

Note: If you and or your partner come from families with SCD or sickle cell trait, are black, Hispanic or have family ancestors from Africa, the Caribbean, India, Italy, Malta, Greece, Sardinia, Turkey, Saudi Arabia, or South or Central America, you may want to take the test.

Can I know if my unborn baby has SCD or sickle cell trait?

Yes, you just need to take a prenatal test to know, but your baby can only inherit the conditions from you and your partner.

Below are tests you can take:

·         Chorionic villus sampling (CVS). This method of testing checks tissue from the placenta to find birth defects and genetic conditions. Take this test 10-13 weeks from conception.

·         Amniocentesis (amnio). The test checks the amniotic fluid from the amniotic sac around the unborn baby to find any birth defects and genetic conditions. Take this test 15-20 weeks from conception.

Before you have either of these tests, discuss with your provider or genetic counselor.

Can SCD result in problems during pregnancy?

Most women who take regular prenatal care seriously can have a healthy pregnancy, though having SCD is linked to a high likelihood of health complications compared to pregnant women with SCD.

Examples of these SCD complications are pain episodes mostly in joints and organs, infection and vision problems.

Birth related SCD complications include higher risks of:

·         Miscarriage before 20 weeks of pregnancy

·         Premature birth before 37 weeks of pregnancy

·         Low birth-weight baby (less than 5 pounds, 8 ounces)

Is SCD treatment safe during pregnancy?

Are you living with SCD and are planning to get pregnant or are already pregnant? Consult your health care provider to get recommendations on the right medications to take for the safety of your baby during pregnancy.

A good example is hydroxyurea. It is recommended for the prevention of red blood cells from sickling but not during pregnancy due to its risk of increasing birth defects.

Talk to your healthcare provider to know if you need to contact a genetic counselor to help you understand you and your partner’s chances of passing SCD or sickle cell trait to your baby.

 

health care provider to get recommendations on the right medications to take for the safety of your baby during pregnancy.

A good example is hydroxyurea. It is recommended for the prevention of red blood cells from sickling but not during pregnancy due to its risk of increasing birth defects.

Talk to your healthcare provider to know if you need to contact a genetic counselor to help you understand you and your partner’s chances of passing SCD or sickle cell trait to your baby.

 

Hits: 0

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.