Profile of Reproductive Issues Associated with Different Sickle Cell Disease Genotypes

Abstract Purpose To describe the reproductive variables associated with different sickle cell disease (SCD) genotypes and the influence of contraceptive methods on acute painful episodes among the women with the homozygous hemoglobin S (HbSS) genotype. Methods A cross-sectional study was conducted between September of 2015 and April of 2016 on 158 women afflicted with SCD admitted to a hematology center in the Northeast of Brazil. The reproduction-associated variables of different SCD genotypes were assessed using the analysis of variance (ANOVA) test to compare means, and the Kruskal-Wallis test to compare medians. The association between the contraceptive method and the acute painful episodes was evaluated by the Chi-square test. Results Themean age of women with SCD was 28.3 years and 86.6% were mixed or of African-American ethnicity. With respect to the genotypes, 134 women (84.8%) had HbSS genotype, 12 women (7.6%) had hemoglobin SC (HbSC) disease genotype, and 12 (7.6%) were identified with hemoglobinopathy S-beta (S-β) thalassemia. The mean age of HbSS diagnosis was lower than that of HbSC disease, the less severe formof SCD (p < 0.001). The mean age ofmenarche was 14.8 ± 1.8 years for HbSS and 12.7 ± 1.5 years for HbSC (p < 0.001). Among women with HbSS who used progestin-only contraception, 16.6% had more than 4 acute painful episodes per year. There was no statistically significant difference when compared with other contraceptive methods. Conclusion With respect to reproduction-associated variables, only the age of the menarche showed delay in HbSS when compared with HbSC. The contraceptive method used was not associated with the frequency of acute painful episodes among the HbSS women.