Sickle Cell & Pregnant

Updated: Apr 20

Sickle cell is a blood disorder passed down from parent to child. People with sickle cell have abnormal hemoglobin (a protein in red blood cells that carries oxygen in the body).

Normal red blood cells are smooth and round in shape while that of a person with sickle cell forms a "C" shape and are stiff and sticky which tend to clump together and can’t move easily in the blood vessels causing pain and tissue damage.

How does sickle cell disease affect your pregnancy? Let’s dig into this...

How sickle cell affects your pregnancy depends on whether you have sickle cell disease or sickle cell trait. Women with sickle cell disease have no change in their disease during pregnancy while in some cases the disease may get worse. Events like the “sickle cell crisis” may still occur in pregnancy.

These events may be treated with medications that are safe to use during pregnancy. Women with sickle cell trait don’t have problems from the disorder but they are susceptible to urinary tract infections and anemia caused by not having enough iron in their blood. With sickle cell, the abnormal red blood cells may lower the amount of oxygen going to your developing baby and this slows down the baby’s growth.

How is sickle cell disease treated in pregnancy?

Early and regular prenatal care is important if you