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HEALTHIER YOU: Sickle Cell Disease and Pregnancy

June 15, 2021 by  
Filed under Health

Sickle Cell Disease and Pregnancy



A pregnant woman with Sickle Cell Disease (SCD) is more likely to have problems that can affect the health of her unborn baby than a woman without SCD. The disease can become more severe during pregnancy — and pain episodes can occur more often. A pregnant woman with SCD is at a higher risk of preterm labor, having a low birthweight 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, SCT, or neither one. The test usually is done after the second month of pregnancy.

Women with Sickle Cell Trait (SCT) can also 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.

What is sickle cell anemia?

Sickle Cell Anemia, or sickle cell disease (SCD) is a genetic disease of the red blood cells (RBCs). Normally, RBCs are shaped like discs, which give them the flexibility to travel through even the smallest blood vessels. However, with this disease, the RBCs have an abnormal crescent shape resembling a sickle. This makes them sticky and rigid and prone to getting trapped in small vessels, which blocks blood from reaching different parts of the body. This can cause pain and tissue damage.

SCD is an autosomal recessive condition. You need two copies of the gene to have the disease. If you have only one copy of the gene, you are said to have sickle cell trait (SCT).

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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