Know If You Are a Carrier for Sickle Cell before You Conceive
You’ve dreamt of building a healthy family for years. Now you’re ready to take those exciting first steps into parenthood. Planning your future is an exciting time but it can also be disheartening if you are faced with passing an inheritable genetic disease down to your children.
For World Sickle Cell Awareness Day (June 19), fertility specialist Dr. Mark Denker and the Palm Beach Fertility Center team offer options for genetic testing for the sickle cell trait, a prevalent red blood cell disease affecting 1 out of every 500 people of African American descent.
Stop Worrying and Get Preconception Genetic Testing
Sickle cell disease is a red blood cell disease where the body produces crescent-shaped red blood cells that are unable to effectively travel through the body’s blood vessels to carry oxygen to the tissues and organs. Persons with sickle cell disease tend to have anemia, impaired physical growth, jaundice and the increased chance of death.
Since more than 2 million Americans have this hereditary disease, genetic disease testing is more important than ever. Ask Dr. Denker about blood and saliva tests to determine if you or your partner carry the sickle cell trait and could pass it along to your children.
Passing on Sickle Cell Disease
Certain characteristics make it more likely that you will pass sickle cell disease or trait to your children:
- Family History – Those of Sub-Saharan African, South or Central American, Caribbean, Saudi Arabian, Indian, or Mediterranean descent may carry sickle cell trait.
- Carrier Partners – If both partners come from families where there are members with active disease they themselves may carry sickle cell trait. When two people that are carriers for sickle cell trait have a family there is a 50% chance of sickle cell disease developing in their child. Genetic testing can determine whether or not either partner, or both are trait carriers.
Discuss Genetic Testing for Sickle Cell Disease with a Fertility Specialist
If you’re concerned about passing genetic disease to your children, ask our team about testing and treatment options. Sickle cell disease doesn’t have to become a reality for your family. Contact us today at the Palm Beach Fertility Center for a consultation and genetic testing options.