A Black pregnant woman stands in front of a yellow background with red and sickled blood cells with an image of hands linked together.

Reproductive Health in Individuals with Sickle Cell Disease: From Gaps to Solutions

May 11 - 12 , 2023
9 a.m. – 5 p.m. ET
Hybrid Workshop

Onsite: Rooms E1/E2, Natcher Conference Center, Building 45, NIH Campus, Bethesda, MD
Virtual: NIH videocast


Sickle cell disease (SCD) can complicate women’s reproductive health throughout their lifespan. Teens suffer from severe menstrual pain and doctors often treat with contraception which increase blood clot risk. Women with SCD have lower ovarian reserve than women without SCD. This can increase miscarriages, reduce fertility, and cause early menopause. Blood and marrow transplant — the only current cure for SCD, further decreases ovarian reserve, and women can’t always preserve their fertility in advance. The FDA has approved four drugs to treat SCD, but none is approved for use in pregnancy, making transfusion the only choice.

The National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute (NHLBI) will host a hybrid event that brings together reproductive care professionals, hematologists, SCD researchers, federal agencies, and people with SCD to discuss gaps and research opportunities to improve personalized comprehensive care for girls and women with SCD across their reproductive lifespan. The workshop features U.S. and international experts from Africa, the Caribbean, and Europe who will cover the following topics in panel discussions and plenary sessions:

  • Reproductive lifespan & fertility preservation in SCD
  • Menstruation and contraception in people with SCD from physiopathology to treatment
  • Pathophysiology of SCD pregnancy
  • Treating SCD during pregnancy
  • Defining high-quality, multidisciplinary care for SCD pregnancy implementation

Speakers also will cover health disparities, gene editing, cryopreservation, clinical treatment trials, and patient perspectives. The workshop is free, open to the public, and will be recorded. Learn more about the workshop, and register.


View the agenda.


All participants must register in advance. In-person space is limited, so register early to reserve your space:


To take part virtually, view the videocast:
May 11:
May 12:


For logistical questions or to request reasonable accommodations to participate in this event, email Rashawn Jones or Myesha MacDonald. For programmatic questions, email Nahed El Kassar.