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Pregnancy screening

Published on 27 September 2019

Haemoglobinopathies (blood disorders)

Sickle cell disease (SCD) and thalassaemia are inherited blood disorders. Carriers of the sickle cell or thalassaemia gene can pass these health conditions on to their babies.

All pregnant women are offered a blood test to find out if they carry a gene for thalassaemia. Those at high risk of being a sickle cell carrier are also offered a test for sickle cell. If the mother is found to be a carrier screening is also offered to the father. Ideally this test should be offered before the 10-week point of the pregnancy, although it can be undertaken later if necessary. It's important the test is done early for some people to be able to access all management options.

NHS Inform has the latest information for women on haemoglobinopathies. If you find out you're a carrier, and the father is also a carrier (or the father’s status is not available) you’ll have the option of further tests to know if your baby will be affected.