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Sickle Cell

Sex & Relationships

Thinking about your condition is the last thing you might want to think about when you start a relationship. It's important to consider though as it can impact on you both physically and emotionally. You might be unsure about how to talk to your partner about your condition. There is no right or wrong way to do so. It might help to have a think about where and when you might want to talk about it and also what questions they may have. You can read more here about talking to others about your condition, this is just as helpful when thinking about telling partners or friends.

As your relationship develops you might start thinking about sex. It is important to also think about safe sex in a wider sense and the use of contraception and protection. Having Sickle Cell does not make you more susceptible to sexually transmitted infections but it is important to consider still and discuss with your partner. Communication during sex is important, from thinking about being safe and gaining consent from your partner at all times.

You can find out more information about advice on sexual health and where to get contraception here and here.


If you have Sickle Cell your team may have spoken to you about genetics which is important to consider if you are thinking about having children. Sickle Cell is a condition that is inherited from both parents. If only one parent has the condition the child can be a carrier.

It might be helpful for you and your partner to think about genetic testing if you are thinking about having children. You can find out more about this here but your team will also be able to talk to you more about genetics and what it all means and genetic testing. You can ask them any questions you have. If you are planning a pregnancy and taking Hydroxycarbamide it is important you discuss this with your Nurse Specialist or Consultant. This medication can harm an unborn baby and alternative treatments will need to be discussed.