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Reproductive Health in Women and Girls With SCD: Gaps to Solutions
Sickle cell disease (SCD) complicates reproductive health for affected individuals. Girls and women with SCD confront challenges associated with menstruation, contraception, infertility risks, and high-risk pregnancy. This workshop assumes a lifespan approach to reproductive health in people with ovaries and sickle cell disease and engages questions related to pathophysiology, clinical care, and structural disparities that need to be addressed to fulfill the promise of high quality, individualized, comprehensive care for girls and women with SCD.
During the workshop’s first day, the major themes will be ovarian reserve, menstruation, and contraception. The first session will address the reproductive lifespan and accelerated decline of ovarian reserve as it may have devastating consequences including miscarriage, infertility, and early menopause. The extent to which we know whether or not and how SCD treatments and cures exacerbate these risks will be addressed. As gene therapy trials continue and FDA approval may be near, fertility preservation is a growing concern for the SCD community as existing preparative regimens are gonadotoxic. In the “Reproductive Lifespan & Fertility Preservation in SCD” session, the focus is on highlighting the lack of our understanding the pathophysiology of ovarian reserve decline and to implement access to cryo-tissue preservation early. Other interventions such as genetic counseling and assisted reproductive technologies will also be addressed.
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This platform is made possible through a partnership with the Sickle Cell Disease Association of America, Inc. (SCDAA) and its member organizations. SCDAA's mission is to advocate for people affected by sickle cell conditions and empower community-based organizations to maximize quality of life and raise public consciousness while advancing the search for a universal cure.