Q. Is it possible to detect sickle cell anemia or sickle cell trait in an unborn child?
Yes, doctors can take a sample of the amniotic fluid, the fluid surrounding the baby in the womb, and test the fluid to determine if the baby has sickle cell trait or sickle cell anemia. Amniotic tests can be performed as early as the first trimester. Chorionic villus sampling, a test to detect a variety of genetic problems, can also be performed early in pregnancy to detect sickle cell.