Why Sickle Cell Disease Clinicians Provide Different Contraceptive Guidance

December 11, 2021
Kevin Kunzmann

New ASH 2021 data shows how guidance is still lacking for clinicians responsible for addressing contraception with women with sickle cell disease.

A national report of pediatric hematology provider perspectives showed varying forms of guidance and strategy in navigating the use of contraceptives among women with sickle cell disease.

The findings, presented at the American Society of Hematology (ASH) 2021 Meeting in Atlanta this weekend, provide a snapshot of the differing characteristics, beliefs, and perceived barriers of sickle cell disease clinicians providing contraceptive counsel to female patients.

What’s more, a key finding indicating that most clinicians feel responsible to provide such counsel and do so without consistency in actual prescribing highlight the need for improved guidelines and universal recommendations for sickle cell disease contraceptive care.

In an interview with HCPLive during ASH 2021, study author Megan Askew, MD, of the Department of Pediatrics, Division of Hematology, Oncology and Stem Cell Transplantation at Columbia University Medical Center / New York Presbyterian Hospital, discussed the prior knowledge that gaps in contraceptive care exist for women with sickle cell disease.

“We know that women with sickle cell disease are overall using contraception less than the general population…and we don’t exactly know why that is,” Askew prosed. “Is there gaps for patients, in terms of knowledge, in terms of what their preferences are, medical mistrust?”

While many of these factors play into the matter, Askew and colleagues sought the perspective of providers—about what they are doing “and how that might influence these contraceptive practices for female patients.”

Watch Askew discuss the study findings and their impact on contraceptive care needs in sickle cell disease in the video above.

The study, “National Survey of Pediatric Sickle Cell Providers on Their Contraceptive Practices for Female Patients,” was presented at ASH 2021.


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