Knowing your genotype and that of your eligible partner is paramount before getting into any form of relationship. This is because genotype incompatibility causes more harm than good, not only for the offspring of both genotypic incompatible parents but also for the parents themselves. How do you know if you and your partner aren’t compatible? Visit any hospital and run a genotype test, if possible, visit 2-3 hospitals so as to leave room for error. Once you’re certain about your genotype, you can use this genotype compatibility summary to determine if your genotype and that of your partner are compatible:
Now, in as much as it is advisable to avoid getting hitched with someone whose genotype isn’t compatible to yours, there are a few options to consider if you decide not to follow suite with this recommendation.
2. Prenatal tests such as (a) Chorionic villus sampling (CVS): a prenatal test that is used to detect birth defects, genetic diseases, and other problems during pregnancy and (b) Amniocentesis: detects chromosome abnormalities, neural tube defects, and genetic disorders. Once these tests are done, and also show positive for the sickle cell gene, you can decide to abort the pregnancy or prepare for the challenges ahead which includes your child suffering.
3. Pre-implantation genetic diagnosis (which is done together with IVF (In-Vitro Fertilization)) is the genetic profiling of embryos prior to implantation. Here, once the IVF process is in motion, the DNA of the cells are evaluated and once any of the embryos have been identified to be free of the sickle cell gene, it is then placed in the uterus. Please note that IVF’s can fail.
4. Bone marrow transplant (BMT). It has been proven to be the only promising permanent cure to SS, SC, and CC; However, it is extremely risky and expensive.
5. No kids.
Sickle cell is real and painful. Make the right choice.