Genetics & Causation


If you are a carrier of the sickle cell trait, it’s good to know this before you start falling in love and making babies. I will stress that it’s essential to know what your partner’s hemoglobin recessive gene is. Say you were like my parents, who are simply blissfully ignorant and in love, with every pregnancy you end up having a 25% chance of having a child with sickle cell, a 50% chance per pregnancy of having children who carry the trait and a 25% chance of having a child that has neither the trait or the disease.

I have 3 sisters and the math part of this was almost too precise. Some families have been known to have all their children end up having SSD…remember it’s not 100% guaranteed that you will have a child with the disease, but with each pregnancy, you have a shot of passing it on.

However…if I had fallen in love with a guy that was a carrier, I think I would have married him, just not have had kids. Thankfully the love of my life is perfectly without this chromosome, so we are home free.


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