Sickle cell disease isusually detected during pregnancy or soon after birth.

Blood tests can also be carried out at any time to check for the condition or to see if you're asickle cell carrier and are at risk of having a child with the condition.

Screeningduring pregnancy

Screening to check if a baby is at risk of being born with sickle cell disease is offered to all pregnant women in England.

In parts of England where conditions such as sickle cell disease are more common, pregnant women are offered a blood test to check if they carry sickle cell.

In areas where these conditions are less common, a questionnaire about your family origins is used to determine whether you should have a blood test for sickle cell.

You can also ask to have the test even if your family origins don't suggest your baby would be at high risk of sickle cell disease.

Screeningshould ideally be carried out before you're 10 weeks pregnant, so you and your partner have time to consider the option of further tests to find out if your baby will be born with sickle cell disease.

This is also known as having the sickle cell trait.

Getting tested can be particularly useful if you have a family history of the condition or your partner is known to carry sickle cell.

If you think you could be a carrier, you can ask for a test from your GP surgery or nearestsickle cell and thalassaemia centre.

Both men and women can have the test.

Read moreinformation aboutsickle cell carriers.

Content supplied by the NHS Website

Medically Reviewed by a doctor on 28 Nov 2016