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Sickle cell disease and pregnancy

Published: 09/10/2014

This information is for you if you want to know more about pregnancy and sickle cell disease (SCD). You may find it helpful if you have SCD and are pregnant, or are thinking about having a baby. It may be helpful if you are a partner, relative or friend of someone who has SCD.

SCD is a condition that affects the red blood cells and the haemoglobin they contain haemoglobin is the protein that carries oxygen around the body.

SCD makes red blood cells more fragile so they break down more easily than usual. Instead of the red blood cells being round, they become sickle shaped (like a crescent) and are then known as sickle cells.

This information has been developed by the RCOG Patient Information Committee and is based on the RCOG Green-top guideline Management of Sickle Cell Disease in Pregnancy (July 2011).

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