Sickle cell disease is a genetic disease. After someone has been born with two copies of the problem gene, there is no way to reduce the risk of that person developing the disease.
Before your baby is conceived, you can take steps to determine whether you and/or your partner carry the sickle cell trait. Consulting with a genetic counselor will help you determine the chances of you and your partner conceiving a baby with sickle cell disease.
After a baby is conceived, prenatal testing can determine whether a baby has sickle cell disease. While this won’t change whether or not the baby has the disease, it can prepare you to care for the baby and obtain the best medical treatment possible.
This content is reviewed regularly and is updated when new and relevant evidence is made available. This information is neither intended nor implied to be a substitute for professional medical advice. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health provider prior to starting any new treatment or with questions regarding a medical condition.
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Sickle cell disease (SCD). Centers for Disease Control and Prevention website. Available at:
http://www.cdc.gov/ncbddd/sicklecell/index.html. Updated September 27, 2012. Accessed July 1, 2013.
What is sickle cell anemia?
National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute
website. Available at:
Updated September 28, 2012. Accessed July 1, 2013.