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Pregnancy & Contraceptives with Sickle Cell

Besides abstinence, what are the best contraceptive choices for a sickle cell warrior? For men of course that would be the condom, but for the ladies, with all the choices out there it gets a bit more complicated. You don’t want to try anything that is too heavily based on hormones, because they have a risk of causing blood clots…and that is not something that someone with SCD should be messing with. So that gives a wary eye to most oral contraceptives.

I’ve used the Nuvaring and Patch for a while, but they stressed me out hardcore. Those PMS-ey symptoms on a regular basis are not my cup of tea. A low dose hormonal would be recommended but be sure that you assess for side effects, as everyone reacts differently to the meds. If you are planning on not having kids for a while the Intrauterine Device aka the IUD is also recommended, mainly because it has no hormones at all.

This is one of those things is based on your choice, but it’s essential to talk with your docs about your concerns before you leap into one. Remember, the people at Planned Parenthood rarely come across questions related to sickle cell, so they might not be your most informed source. When all else fails, fall back on condoms, they suck but they work about 99% of the time when used correctly.

Please don’t think that because you have sickle cell you don’t need to be on contraceptives, that is just foolhardy. There is no way that I would wish what I have on anyone, and that includes my offspring, so I’d rather not have kids then to pass this ish on. It’s better to make good decisions and choose when you get pregnant and with whom, that way you can research the HgB gene of your potential baby daddy.

Pregnancy is hard, you are high risk, but it’s doable. If you want a child, just make sure that your baby daddy is prescreened for the HgbS gene because you don’t want to pass sickle cell on. Amp up on your folic acid. Most people with SS report that when they are pregnant they don’t have any crises and very little pain, however that is not the same for everyone. If you do have pain, you have to make sure that whatever meds you take don’t cross the placental barrier or your baby would be addicted to narcs (not a cool thing btw). A good doctor will help you through the transition, and make sure that you are in a genetic counseling program as well as a high risk pregnancy group.

Hmmm, what else? If you are on Hydroxyurea, DON’T GET PREGNANT. That’s a warning that is to be shouted from the rooftops. Hydrea does cross the placental barrier and your child could be affected even in the early developmental phases. Effected as in all kinds of documented as well as undocumented problems including mental and physical deficits. I know you what your little offspring to be perfect, so make sure that you double up on birth control or abstain from sex altogether if you are on Hydrea. If you do want to get pregnant, you have to get off Hydrea for several months BEFORE you try to sperminate. It has to be out of your system BEFORE you get pregnant. I cannot stress this enough.

All in all the big question is that can people with sickle cell have children? The answer, a solid loud resounding YES. You can have children, you can go through labor, delivery and childbirth, you can produce a beautiful bundle of joy. But you have to be more educated, more prepared and have more support than any run of the mill Nancy. I know a woman with sickle cell that has 6 children, and none of them have the disease. That’s the kind of success story you want so be smart and line your ducks in a row before you take the plunge.

Good luck.

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Sickle Cell Warrior

Sickle Cell Warrior

Tosin is dedicated to perpetuating healthy and positive messages about sickle cell. Although sickle cell is a subject often taboo in the communities this condition is most prevalent, Tosin’s message is that sickle cell is not something to be ashamed of and you can live a rich and fulfilling life with sickle cell. Sickle cell warriors are the most amazing people in the world, with a great fortitude for compassion, willpower and strength.

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20 Comments

  1. Mae
    Mae June 02, 04:19

    Hi Warrior. Im 22 and about to get married but do not want kids till we are finacially stable. my docs have suggested the Depo-Provera shot as the best birth control med i can go on. im abit wary of it as i do not know what the implications of not having your period for years is in the long run and how the side effects could affect me. so i would like your opinion on this.do you know anyone with sca that is on it?

  2. Sickle Cell Warrior
    Sickle Cell Warrior Author June 02, 22:40

    I don’t know anyone with SCA that has it, but I have a friend that was on Depo for 14 years with no problem. The only main hurdle is that if you are on it for several years (like 5 or more), eventually your uterine lining will diminish and be eroded, making it more difficult to get pregnant. But if you are thinking just to be on it for a few years while you get settled, I don’t see how it should be a problem. Good luck!

  3. Lauren
    Lauren August 25, 15:29

    Hello, I’ve had two miscarriages, with my first pregnancy I carried my baby up until 21 weeks and with my second pregnancy up until 11weeks. I just wanted to know what level of hemoglobin should a pregnant woman with Sickle Cell maintain in order to have a successful pregnancy?

  4. Sickle Cell Warrior
    Sickle Cell Warrior Author September 01, 15:14

    @Lauren, I’m sorry, I have no idea hun. I will ask on the Facebook page and see if anyone responds. Blessings.

  5. Sickle Cell Warrior
    Sickle Cell Warrior Author September 01, 15:17

    @Lauren, check out the thread here: http://www.facebook.com/reqs.php#!/SickleCellWarriors

  6. Claire
    Claire March 18, 23:52

    I know this question might be a little odd and out of place but what are the risks of having an abortion with sickle cell? And does anyone know if the abortion pill is safe? My cousin’s contraceptive methods have failed her and she has decided she cannot have the baby due to a lot of personal issues. I advised she should visit a planned parenthood but would like some input from the scw community also.

  7. koyode oluwatobi
    koyode oluwatobi May 02, 06:57

    pls my sis is avin same prob like d above post what safe abortion pill can she take, she is not up to 10days pregnant&she is SCD. Please we need your urgent reply thank u.

  8. Sickle Cell Warrior
    Sickle Cell Warrior Author May 05, 07:37

    @Koyode, I’m not sure. She should be able to take anything that the doctor recommends, just try to avoid anything that would cause excessive bleeding.

  9. free_ fre
    free_ fre October 30, 11:10

    I have SCD & recently just had my first child after 2 stillborns&1miscarriage to have this baby I’ve had a blood transfusio . Every month up until delivery your hemoglobin must be over 30 @all times during pregnancy &now I have a healthy baby boy but now my iron is critically high not a good thing but now I’ve just learned that i’m prego again and was wondering Is abortion risky for SCD Patients please help I’m stuck between a rock & hard place

  10. Sophie
    Sophie September 10, 15:54

    Hi warrior. Pls I had a baby last 7months and now am pregnant again cos I didn’t use any contraceptives. Pls I don’t want to have this baby and am so scared of a surgical abortion. What abortion pill is suitable for a hbss patient

  11. Sickle Cell Warrior
    Sickle Cell Warrior Author September 21, 16:02

    @Sophine, I’m not sure where you are but this is something you should ask your doctor. You want to avoid anything that can cause alot of bleeding or clots

  12. Ab
    Ab October 26, 17:48

    Should a patient with As have children nd under go child delivery.

  13. Nikki
    Nikki October 30, 05:13

    Hi warrior good day, am 25 and i have SCD im planning to get married i have read that depo provera is the best anticonceptive for ppl with SCD bit im scared of it’s side effect specially the long term bleeding, I have been on Hydroxyurea for 7 years at least but would like to start taking the progesterone mini-pill instead of the shot (depo) please which advice would you give me?? I need your help…

  14. bb
    bb November 03, 16:15

    Pls am Sc i have 3 children but dont need more. what is the best contraceptive suitable for me. am confused

  15. Sickle Cell Warrior
    Sickle Cell Warrior Author November 12, 16:14

    Can you talk to your doctor? I don’t know much about Depovera but the mini-pill works for many with sickle cell.

  16. Sickle Cell Warrior
    Sickle Cell Warrior Author November 12, 16:16

    Yes, you can have a child. It can be a high risk pregnancy but it’s not undo-able. Many people have sickle cell and have successful pregnancies.

  17. Ms Ladi
    Ms Ladi November 08, 00:25

    Is it safe to take plan b

  18. Sickle Cell Warrior
    Sickle Cell Warrior Author February 14, 01:23

    Ladi, I am not sure. I would recommend you talking to an OB/GYN. If there is going to be any extensive bleeding, then this might trigger a sickle cell crisis for you. Just have that in the back of your mind.

  19. Maris
    Maris March 02, 02:39

    Pls am sickle cell and I just found out I am pregnant. Am not ready to have this baby and my boyfriend is AS.. What can I do? Any pills to get rid of it?

  20. phoe
    phoe April 23, 07:30

    Your comment..hi there, I am hgbss can I give birth? I have read about scd’s and complications in pregnancies and I am a bit sceptical about it

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