This slide show explains erythropoiesis, which is the term for the production of red blood cells. Red blood cells, called erythrocytes, carry oxygen around your body. This slide show explains the erythrocyte life cycle and describes how a low red blood cell count causes anemia. Anemia typically results from bleeding, red blood cell destruction, or decreased red blood cell production by the bone marrow, as seen in disorders such as myelodysplastic syndromes (MDS). The slide show describes treatments for a low red blood cell count, including medications, blood transfusions, and stem cell transplant.