EFFECTS OF SICKLE CELL ANEMIA ON THE REPRODUCTIVE SYSTEM
In some ways, the reproductive system is the reason that sickle cell disease spreads. Since SCA is a genetic disease, the mutated gene for the mutated sickle cell hemoglobin is carried on the chromosomes that lie inside the sperm and the egg. When both parents have the HbS gene for the sickled red blood cell, there is a 75% chance that their offspring will also have the trait. The reproductive system is a part of the sickle cell anemia in the fact that it spreads the disease from parent to offspring. Luckily, the disease itself does not directly damage the reproductive system, however it can effect other systems which will eventually cause harm to the reproductive system.
The treatment for SCA effects the endocrine system by inhibiting the production of gonadotropin from the pituitary gland. This means that sex hormones are not released. When sex hormones such as testosterone are not released, sperm production, and egg production can halt completely. This eradicates the sole purpose of the reproduction. Therefore, SCA can actually stop the reproduction system as a whole.
SCA also has an effect that affects the male reproductive organ, the penis. This effect is called a priapism. A priapism is a prolonged and painful erection caused by blood being trapped inside the penile arteries due to the shape of the sickled red blood cells. Over 75% of men with SCA have experienced a priapism at least once in their lifetimes.
|Brian Oh|Biology 2|Final Project|5/30/2013|