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Aunty Bella: Miss. Genotype Disclosure



Aunty Bella is our agony aunt column on BellaNaija. We launched this column in the early days of BN and periodically feature issues sent in by BN readers.

BN reader, Francine* sent us this email regarding disclosing her genotype. We hope you can provide some insight and help; especially as we know that a lot of people find this an issue. We hope that you can provide some constructive and logical advice. Thank you very much.


I have got the sickle cell gene, I turned 31 this year and I recently met a great guy who is totally into me. He recently asked that we take our friendship to the ‘Next Level’ and have a proper relationship. He is 32 and he wants a relationship that will naturally progress into marriage.

However, I found myself freezing at the thought of tell him about my genotype. I’m not certain what his genotype is but the thought of even bringing myself to look him in the eye and tell him what the deal is looks quite daunting a task to me and I fear that it will put me in a rather vulnerable position. I wear my heart on my sleeves and I have had not so good experiences in the past where I ‘thought’ the guy I was dating had promised marriage but alas, today he is married but not to me. Alas, I eventually found out that he was never okay with it and he had a ‘Plan B’ all along.

For a long time, my priority in life was to get a good education and pursue a fulfilling career. I realised early on in my life that whilst I have no control about my genotype and the various challenges it brings, I owe it to myself to make something good of my life. So I put all my passion into getting good grades and a masters and I’m settling into a very fulfilling career.

I also hope to adopt an older child in the not too distant future. If I were not a Christian, I would probably have given in to just having meaningless relationships but my faith is a core of who I am hence I’m unable to tow that path. So I talked myself out of such futile pursuits and poured my love on God, education and career.

So, I actually thought I had it all together and was happy to live in my little bubble ‘man free’ until this guy waltz into my life some months ago. I have tried to ask myself what it is I am afraid of and whether this fear is a valid one. I ask myself: “What is the worst that can happen?”. There are three possible outcomes I foresee: one is he says he is fine with it and probably confirms he is AA (which would be fantastic). The other is, he says he is fine with it but unfortunately he is a AS and a carrier of the sickle cell gene (that will be a bomber as there are enough SS carriers in Sub-Sahara Africa as it is ..Laughs). The third possible outcome is he will say he wants nothing to do with me or pretend for a while that he is cool will it only for us to break up months after.

But regardless of all these possible outcomes, I think my greatest fear is me exposing my vulnerability to a guy who thinks I’m ‘Super Woman’. I keep on asking myself whether or not he will still see me as that strong, independent and smart women he fell for. Or would he see me as this fragile lady who puts on a very brave persona just to hide her vulnerabilities? I would rather choose the former because that is how I see myself and I don’t think I can bear to live with anything short of that.

I still don’t know I’m going to tell him…should I do it face-to-face, text, email, voicemail or on Skype?

Photo Credit:


  1. Truth Teller

    December 24, 2013 at 1:26 pm

    Dear,you have nothing to loose. tell him and do so face to face, it’s more honorable. You did not create yourself and it’s no fault of yours that you carry the gene. Whatever happens,love yourself the way you are, someone was made just for you.

    • storyofmylife

      December 24, 2013 at 2:26 pm

      Sweetheat, please calm down. My hubby and I are both AS,we discussed it and prayed to God for guidance, Thankfully two years into marriage we have two cuties already. Though we checked for their Genotypes while I was preggy and at the center we went to it was confirmed they too are AS. We bless God for that, thank God for technology, if he truly love you,he will stand by you and move to the next level. Though we don’t want more kids,we are super duper xcited we got our kids to cherish and care for. TELL HIM NOW!!

    • OmogeNaija

      December 26, 2013 at 3:24 pm

      Congrats you scaled through, I was in your shoes but could not bear the thought of aborting our foetus once its genotype was confirmed AS. I broke it off and still single @ 32, I prefer it to bringing children into the world to suffer.
      Dear Francine, I presume you are AS, please disclose it now so you don’t pay for it later in life.

    • Ifeoluwa

      December 30, 2013 at 3:26 am

      Thanks for sharing this. Pls if you don’t mind me asking what centre was it you checked at for the genotypes before birth. Thank you.

  2. Oma

    December 24, 2013 at 1:38 pm

    It’s really not easy because I had a similar experience. We didn’t want to talk about it, d relationship went far until I lost a friend to sickle cell that was when we had no choice dan to talk about it, then broke up. It’s really best u talk about it sooner, it saves u a lot of time, stress and heartache. And I think you should do it face to face for closure and better understanding, if he loves u and is AA, then he shouldn’t think less of u than he did before. But u should tell him

  3. Jen

    December 24, 2013 at 1:49 pm

    I personally think you should tell him in the early days so that you would know where you stand..reason being is that even if you do plan to get married, your genotype will still be revealed regardless and he might not be AA, by then it might be too late because you two are deeply inlove.. For instance I was dating my fiancé for 4 years And plan on getting married next year.. I fell pregnant,God knows I didn’t know what my genotype was before I got pregnant, it wasn’t until I got pregnant that they told me I was AS.. And hubby and I didn’t even bother checking out genotype ..Mehnnn it was a shock to me and the first thing that came to my mind was what if my husband to b was AS.. I prayed and prayed and let the result be AA..and gladly is was AA..hmmm so what I would advice you is to tell him before it’s too late! And please tell him face to face not via social network. I pray he is AA so that you can feel relaxed and happy with yourself!!!

  4. oluwatoyin

    December 24, 2013 at 1:54 pm

    it is best u let him know wat ur genotype is. there is no point hiding it from him since u r dreaming of having a long lasting relationship wit him. bt before then, try to know his own genotype first.

  5. DocDeola

    December 24, 2013 at 1:55 pm

    You are a superwoman…demonstrating that you can live life to the fullest, look super beautiful, be super successful and oh yeah have sickle cell. The worst case scenario….is having a child like yourself…although the pain and suffering you do not wish to impart…you can have ivf with pre-implantation genotyping if he’s AS, but if he’s AA, then nothing to worry about…..but if he turns out to be a p.rick, then thats just the 3 in four probability that comes with being in human and not your fault. live life enjoy xmas and let him know. then you can have peace of mind whatever the outcome.

    • Tade

      December 31, 2013 at 1:23 am

      Hey please what is pre implantation genotyp……am not a medic am in this mess now with my fiancee I love her despite our genotype issue will like to know options if any I want to stick with my girl bcos she is the only girl I ever loved.

  6. I CARE

    December 24, 2013 at 1:59 pm

    Dear Sister, you have to owe up to this one. Relationship is all about commitment and dedication. So whether this guy knew about your genotype or not, the fact remains that you are still that strong woman you have built up over the years to be. To avoid unwholesome problems that might emanate in posterity if you don’t let this your man know about your genotype, be open about your problem to him. Telling him will even be a litmus test to his extent of his love for you. But I will advice that if after the test that both of you are having genes dominant for SS or a carrier please consider the fate of the children you guys will bear tomorrow, before the marriage. Good luck

  7. Nat

    December 24, 2013 at 2:05 pm

    Hi Francine, pretty tough situation here. If you do not tell him now and start a relationship with him, he will find out sooner or later (which amounts to deception in my opinion), so why not save yourself the stress and put it out for him, and whatever choice he makes, you will be deeply satisfied that at least you know where you stand.
    At the end of the day, all your anxieties may be nothing really and you will see that you have just been stressed over nothing when the guy will turn out to be a very compatible partner for you.
    Forgot about how he views you after you have told him, if this goes to the next level after you have told me and several levels into marriage then at least you will be glad that there is that one person that you can gladly show you fragile side to, after all every ‘superwoman’ has her own vulnerability, at least yours isn’t self inflicted.
    And please whenever you decide to tell him, do it in person because you will want to get to see the facial and bodily expressions he displays which actually speak louder than words.
    The ball is in your court dear. The sooner you do it, the better for you.
    Compliments of the season. cheers

  8. Nat

    December 24, 2013 at 2:09 pm


  9. Cancel Reply

    December 24, 2013 at 2:18 pm

    The earlier the better!!

  10. AS woman

    December 24, 2013 at 2:20 pm

    After one relationship went south after 2 years of dating due to sickle cell, I adopted a very firm policy. On the very first date, I asked for genotype and blood group. I am AS and until recently, thought I’m O-. Therefore, my pool of frogs and princes was entirely AA. I lost enough uncles and aunts to SS issues.

    • natty

      December 24, 2013 at 5:24 pm

      that’s my exact policy, I like to know before emotions are involved thus making it harder to break up.

    • Mills and Boons

      December 24, 2013 at 7:49 pm

      My sister…I always ask oh like lets not bother wasting time at all

    • whocares

      December 24, 2013 at 10:34 pm

      lmaoo. the very first date? woow. lol. I have always taken genotypes for granted because I am AA and a universal donor to boot. But it is a serious issue isnt it? Your genotype is simply just that. its not dependent on your actions or how well you take care of your body etc. Dont beat yourself up Francine. You are who you are. Tell the guy, and let the dice fall where they may.

  11. Thelma

    December 24, 2013 at 2:46 pm

    First off I must confess you’re a very brave woman. Many with lesser challenges do not even have the kind of strength you possess. In answer to your last question, please tell him soon, and in person. None of us can predict the outcome but I’ll sure be praying for you. At least you’ve laid out the possible outcomes and you’re very realistic. As regards your fears, there’s no harm in letting him see you as you really are. Vulnerabilities and all. You’re not super woman, no one is. I wish you well *Francine.

  12. Energybill

    December 24, 2013 at 2:49 pm

    I am surprised what you are worried about is whether the guy would leave you or not. What about the genotype and health of your unborn children? That to me is what you should be worried about. For crying out loud being a carrier is not the same as having HIV/AIDS or cancer or hepatitis! While you have no control over your own genotype (of which it’s not a death sentence or sentence to lonely life by the way) you have to a certain extent control over the genotype of your unborn kids. You have a responsibilty to them to tell him and also find out his own genotype. If you dont, you are creating a big mountain out of a mole hill for yourself in future. Do you think having Sickle Cell Disease is a walk in the park? or you think the parents of children with Sickle Cell have a jolly ride? The guys that left you because of AS, they were cowards and not man enough to discuss it with you so you can reach an agreement or they had it in their family and knew it’s not a pleasant ride. Either way coward or not, they did you both a favour.

    And if you insist on glossing over it and getting marrid to another AS, the only way I know that prevents two AS from producing a Sickle Cell child is by IVF and selective abortion. Whereby the embryo/foetus is screened for SS and aborted if it has it. Then you keep trying till you have one that doesn’t have SS. As you have said you are a christian then I’m sure it’s not a route you want to go down. So unless medical technology has improved beyond this by the time you get married and have kids, I urge to to think!

    • me

      December 24, 2013 at 8:12 pm

      this your comment is so stupid…sorry to say…did you read the article at all? how can you say “Do you think having Sickle Cell Disease is a walk in the park?”…this is someone that has the SCD gene already

      and are ypu implying ivf is a sin? pls get off your ‘christian” highhorse…you cant understand her situation if you have not walked in her shoes

    • Energybill

      December 25, 2013 at 8:02 am

      And you are more stupid than my comment (of which my comment isn’t) for not engaging your brain before engaging your itchy fingers to type. The article didn’t categorically state she has SCD so I don’t know where you got that from. “IVF and selective abortion” I said. Do you know the financial, emotional and physiological trauma associated with this? So I don’t know where christian high horse comes into this. I can be held responsible for what I write, but I can’t be held responsible for what your pea sized brain understands.

  13. CarliforniaBawlar

    December 24, 2013 at 2:51 pm

    What i don’t get is this, is she AS or SS? Just getting off work so maybe my brain isn’t processing this story right. Well, if she’s SS homeboy needs to know what he’s getting into. It would be unfair to ‘trick’ anyone into a situation that up you know might have a big effect on your relationship. Last year, One of my closest friends married a girl with sickle cell anemia (against all odds and family pressure)…..the chick died at childbirth. It was such a tragedy but at least they shared real love and she left her son behind. He’s now a single dad ( at 28) with a son he adores and he even said he’ll start dating next year sef. I remember him calling me to tell me how his mum was harrassing him not to marry the girl…..he explained that the girl said she was healed and hadn’t had a crisis in almost 10years, funny thing is he said he didn’t believe her but he loves her and is okay with whatever rocks her boat….lol. So you see, true love dey out there. Now if you’re AS, i think you might be overreacting…..most people that i know are AS wear it on their sleeves….they let their potential patners know before anybody starts catching feelings… babe tell this dude and if he bounces make it a point to disclose your genotype on first dates sef….seems a little extreme but it would make your life so much easier… drink some zobo to calm your troubled soul, arrange a date with Mr Man and get this over with…..xoxo

  14. Mercee

    December 24, 2013 at 3:05 pm

    My dear, just go right ahead and tell him. If he is the one, everything would fall into place. If he is not, be patient dear, the one would come and you would not be afraid. I am AS and have had challenges with the genotype thing. But I met the one,and everything is perfect.

  15. same boat

    December 24, 2013 at 3:13 pm

    I was in ur shoes couple of years back.
    My husband and I are both AS,we were both nervous about the situation before we got married.To God be the glory we have two pretty daughters today one is AS and the other is AA.
    With my first pregnancy I did not check her genotype while pregnant, but with my second I did.
    Thank God for technology you can know in your early weeks of pregnancy the baby’s genotype.
    I will advice u to tell him now in person, if he truly loves u, u can both fight the battle together.Good luck!!!

  16. datgirlE

    December 24, 2013 at 3:44 pm

    My darl’ if he really loves u he’ll stand with u, it’s nt written on ur forehead dat u r SS, it’s nt by ur making dat u r, a true man would not turn his back on u 4 anything. My boyfriend is SS nd we hv been dating for 3yrs am happy with him, his 40 nd still kicking, we would b getting married in a few months, so my dear jst tell him wat it is nd if his really 4 u he’ll stand by u as an honourable man.

  17. Dr. N

    December 24, 2013 at 4:04 pm

    It’s a no brainier dear. Since u have plan B of adopting, let that give u courage. Face your worst fears.

  18. Ima

    December 24, 2013 at 4:35 pm

    Come clean so it doesn’t bite both of you in the rear.

  19. yummie

    December 24, 2013 at 5:54 pm

    Dearie, I tink it’s beta u let him knw now, I av lost 2 relationship bcos of dis genotype ish. I fink u shld nt b blinded by luv to jeopardize d future of ur unborn children. D lord is ur strength.

  20. true_talker

    December 24, 2013 at 6:24 pm

    My darling, the answer is simple, albeit a tough one. Like everyone else has stated, please tell him. If you do, at least you know where you stand. If he’s yours, he will stand with and by you; if he’s not, at least you know he’s not. I know the anguish you are going through, but life is not to be lived in fear, but in peace, love and a sound mind. Be brave my dear and please tell him face to face. Hugs….

  21. Victory

    December 24, 2013 at 6:49 pm

    hi u never gave into fear while growing up. y give into fear now ? those that wait on the Lord will not be disappointed. you already making plans based on fear. face fear you don’t have the spirit of fear. good step you voiced your fear. IJN

  22. Cocobutter

    December 24, 2013 at 7:30 pm

    As a woman living with sickle cell and having lost two friends to sickle cell this year in December, I urge you to tell the guy, and stop living your life in fear. We are now in the 21st century, and people should be aware of their genotypes before they get married or if they are in a relationship, and they are going to the next level!!! Am sure there are lots of people with sickle cell who are married with children, and some are single, but we are all blessed, I have a few friends with sickle cell. I got married this year and on my birthday in July, and my husband is AA, I don’t think I would want to marry any man with a AS genotype, it is quite risky!!! When you have spent your life in and out of hospitals, while getting your degree, working and enjoying your life, I doubt you would want to see your children suffer the same fate too, by going through what you went through?! I am looking forward to spending the rest of my life with my husband and having a family, I wish you the best and I hope it all works all out for you :-). By the way love is about being vulnerable, so go on and tell the guy.

  23. Dr seun

    December 24, 2013 at 8:21 pm

    I totally understand what you are going thru and seriously wish I had a solution for you. Thank God for technology so many things can be done to prevent having a SS kid but always remember there are the not too nice part. IVF is expensive be ready to start saving and selective abortion has a huge emotional component which most women cannot cope with especially with beliefs against abortion. I really think you should pray about it and then discuss it with him. Let him understand the struggle of the journey of a SS person cos he myt b ok wit it now but then in marriage it begins to cause marriage rift especially with the crises. I sincerely pray you av a good story in the end and look forward to ur wedding pics on bellanaija. Lol.

  24. pamilerin

    December 24, 2013 at 8:27 pm

    I empatise with you and do hope he is AA,but come to think of it,dont you think he already knows or isnt it already obvious you have heamoglobin issues?

  25. Tanwa

    December 24, 2013 at 9:36 pm

    In today’s climate before you even go to bed with someone you owe it to yourselves to get screened. If it’s true love and not lust you guys would cope , safely with whatever the blood results show. It’s horrible to watch a child suffer from SS, it can even destroy a marriage. You owe it to your self to know what his genotype is and then decide if it is worth playing Russian roulette .

  26. molarah

    December 25, 2013 at 9:38 am

    The part I can’t get past is the commenters advocating selective abortion. Biko, that is murder, in case you don’t know. You may think you are doing the child a favour by not letting him/her come to suffer, but in actuality this idea is a really selfish one. The concept of reincarnation is not true, and a fetus is MORE than a bunch of cells: by aborting you have actually rid a whole human being the opportunity to live, breathe and enjoy all that life has to offer. Even people that are born as AA still encounter sicknesses and accidents that make living difficult for them later on in life: how come we don’t advocate that they are immediately killed when such occur to save them from misery?

    To the lady in question, I guess you have your answer: the guy that will stay will stay. Better he walks now than in the middle of the marriage.

    • Moi

      December 26, 2013 at 12:27 am


  27. Jen

    December 25, 2013 at 9:52 am

    But it doesn’t say if she’s SS or AS..but all the same pls tell him. Reason being is that raising a child with SS is no joke!!

  28. Anonymous

    December 25, 2013 at 5:54 pm

    Tell him via google. It’ll work, trust me.

  29. Audrey

    December 26, 2013 at 9:43 pm

    I found this a bit strange, at 30 I’ve seen enough
    two-faced people and so I wear my AS and O+ blood group on my
    sleeve. I will stylishly tell you before we get serious.So I don’t
    get dumped when I’m head over heels. Abeg tell him, you owe it to
    the children you plan to bear at least. All the best.

  30. NOKSIS

    December 26, 2013 at 11:24 pm

    My dear , just tell him. And don’t be ashamed of who you
    are and don’t feel guilt. It is better to know if he is ok with it

  31. Ifeoluwa

    December 30, 2013 at 3:36 am

    I think u shd tell him face to face so u will get to know where he stands. I am AC n I tell you I will marry any man I love and know God is leading me to marry. I will never choose to settle with some guy just become he is AA. Even with the best of genotypes these days people still have kids with serious health issues. So let God do the talking to you. Shikena

  32. DAMI

    January 1, 2014 at 6:22 pm

    as a rule of thumb, I always ask all potential friends that can turn boyfriend that can turn husband what their genotypes are. not for the many sleepless night that I and their father will have but for the sake of the UNBEARABLE PAIN these kids go through.
    I gave up many nice guys for the sake of AS genotype as I am AS. But am thankful dat in less than 30days I will be getting married.and he is AA.

  33. hamdalat

    January 24, 2014 at 11:17 am

    TELL HIM FACE TO FACE, yes this seems hard but you will be happy knowing your fate now. than later after you might have built castles based on the love you both share. also, am very sure you dont wish anyone to go through the pains again not to talk of your own children. i wish you luck, he might just be a AA.

  34. JUMMIE

    January 28, 2014 at 4:07 pm

    It is well,ask for his genotype on your first date?You never see anything.You not seen cases where it was confirmed to be AA/AS but when you were suppose to start preparing for your wedding,genotype start reading AS/AS.

  35. ahubi oklobia

    February 18, 2014 at 11:43 am

    why are you being so paranoid. you mentioned that you are a Christian so use you faith. my genotype is SS and im 31 and engaged. i have actually gone through a lot with ignorant guys (funny enough,iv only dated AA guys) who just believe il some day fall and die and never wake up because im a ”sickler” Anyway i prayed about it and here i am today with a wonderful man who is AA and loves me to bits. hes a believer and doesn’t even remember my genotype. i just bless Gods name. when i told him about my genotype i was not dramatic about it at all,it came up as normal gist over lunch and it didnt even linger till later on when i asked him if he remembered what my genotype is and he said it like no biggie. i pray for you my darling,we are so similar,just keep praying.

  36. Damola.

    January 20, 2020 at 1:37 pm

    my sister you are right o
    I have been dating this guy for 5 years now he told me his genotype is AS when we started and I went to do my genotype test too which was AA not until now when we are planning to move the relationship to the next level that I started having different genotype results I did it twice and result was AS and AC,i have decided to chill for a while though I can’t kill myself

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