Screening for Sickle Cell Disease

Dallas IVF can help you have a healthy baby by screening for sickle cell disease

The physicians at Dallas IVF are your partners in fertility care. As part of our commitment to helping you have a healthy baby, our Dallas fertility center offers screening for sickle cell disease. By using preimplantation genetic diagnosis, PGD, with in vitro fertilization, IVF, our fertility specialists can prevent the transmission of sickle cell.

Screening for sickle cell disease can prevent the complications caused by the disorder

An estimated 2.5 million Americans have the sickle cell trait. Individuals with the trait will generally not experience symptoms of the disease; however, they can still pass sickle cell to their children. In the United States, over 70,000 people have sickle cell disease, which is characterized by red blood cells that are pointed and hard instead of round and soft.

Sickle cell disease causes blockage of blood flow, which can result in pain, stroke and damage to the kidneys, liver, lungs and spleen. While the average life expectancy for patients has improved, most people live only until their mid-40s.

Our Dallas fertility center realizes that this information is distressing; however, you can prevent transmission of this disorder by screening for sickle cell disease.

Genetic screening is important because not all people know that they are carriers

Our Dallas fertility center recommends that all people consider preconception genetic screening, because a person can carry an inheritable genetic disorder like sickle cell without showing any symptoms. This makes them an unknowing carrier who is capable of transmitting the disorder to their children.

  • If both partners carry the sickle cell trait, there is a 25% chance their children will not have the disease or carry the gene for the disease.
  • If both partners carry the sickle cell trait, there is a 25% chance their baby will have sickle cell disease.
  • If both partners carry the sickle cell trait, there is a 50% chance their children will be born with the trait (a carrier) but not the active disease.

Our reference genetics lab can identify which embryos are impacted by sickle cell

If testing reveals that you have the sickle cell trait, there is a way to have a healthy baby. Our Dallas fertility center can perform PGD as part of an IVF cycle.

  • Between egg retrieval and embryo transfer, our reference genetics lab will combine a genetic probe with a group of cells from your embryos.
  • The probe allows the lab to identify which embryos are impacted by sickle cell and which embryos are unaffected.

If you’d like more information about screening for sickle cell disease or any other inheritable disorder, please contact Dallas IVF today.