Sickle cell disease is a genetic disease. After someone has been born with 2 copies of the problem gene, there is no way to reduce the risk of that person developing the disease.
If you are planning a family, 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.
Sickle cell disease. Kids Health—Nemours Foundation website. Available at: http://kidshealth.org/en/parents/sickle-cell-anemia.html. Updated September 2012. Accessed July 1, 2013.
Sickle cell disease in adults and adolescents. EBSCO DynaMed Plus website. Available at:http://www.dynamed.com/topics/dmp~AN~T902929/Sickle-cell-disease-in-adults-and-adolescents. Updated October 4, 2016. Accessed October 5, 2016.
Sickle cell disease in infants and children. EBSCO DynaMed Plus website. Available at:http://www.dynamed.com/topics/dmp~AN~T902928/Sickle-cell-disease-in-infants-and-children. Updated September 20, 2016. Accessed October 5, 2016.
Sickle cell trait. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention website. Available at: http://www.cdc.gov/ncbddd/sicklecell/traits.html. Updated September 14, 2015. Accessed December 13, 2016.
Last reviewed December 2016 by Marcin Chwistek, MD Last Updated: 5/20/2015