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Will I Pass Sickle Cell Disease on to My Children?


Sickle cell disease runs in my family. I don't have it, but my friend told me I can still pass it on to my children. Is this true? I don't have kids yet, but I want to be a mom someday.
Raiyah*

If you have sickle cell disease in your family, your children might be born with it — but they also might not. It all depends on the mix of that your kids inherit from you and their father.

Sickle cell disease is — it's passed down from parents to children. Like you, lots of people don't have the disease, but they can have the sickle cell gene in their bodies. When someone has the gene but not the disease, it's known as sickle cell trait.

Your doctor's office can do an easy blood test to find out if you have sickle cell trait. If the test shows you have the gene in your body, it means that you could pass it on to your children.

Of course, children inherit genes from both parents. So your kids' dad will play a role in sickle cell disease:

Some other blood disorders are similar to sickle cell disease, like hemoglobin S-C, C, and E, and thalassemias. When a parent has one of these, it also can affect a child's chances of being born with sickle cell trait or sickle cell disease.

Date reviewed: September 2015


Note: All information on TeensHealth® is for educational purposes only. For specific medical advice, diagnoses, and treatment, consult your doctor.

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