Thursday, December 3, 2020

HEALTHIER YOU: The facts about sickle cell

September 14, 2020 by  
Filed under Health

The facts about sickle cell

BY DR. ANNETTE MAYES, OB/GYN

DR. ANNETTE MAYES

September is Sickle Cell Awareness Month. People who inherit one sickle cell gene and one normal gene have sickle cell trait (SCT). People with SCT usually do not have any of the symptoms of sickle cell disease (SCD), but they can pass the trait on to their children.

If both parents have SCT, there is a 50% chance that any child of theirs also will have SCT, if the child inherits the sickle cell gene from one of the parents. Such children will not have symptoms of SCD, but they can pass SCT on to their children.

And if both parents have SCT, there is a 25% (or 1 in 4) chance that any child of theirs will have SCD. There is the same 25% chance that the child will not have SCD or SCT.

A woman with SCD is more likely to have problems during pregnancy that can affect her health and the health of the unborn baby than a woman without SCD.

During pregnancy the disease can become more severe, and pain episodes can occur more often. A pregnant woman with SCD is at a higher risk of preterm labor, having a low birth weight baby or other complications.

However, with early prenatal care and careful monitoring throughout pregnancy, a woman with SCD can have a healthy pregnancy.

SCD is recessive, which means that both parents must pass on the sickle cell gene for a child to be born with SCD. During pregnancy there is a test to find out if the baby will have SCD or SCT. The test usually is done after the second month of pregnancy.

Women who have SCT also can have a healthy pregnancy. Women with SCD or SCT might want to see a genetic counselor for information about the disease and the chances that SCD or SCT will be passed to their baby.

For more information, call Las Vegas All Women’s Care at (702) 522-9640. Or visit us at 700 Shadow Lane #165 in Las Vegas.

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