Prenatal screening

In the Netherlands all pregnant women are offered the choice of prenatal screening. You will be offered more information on the subject at your initial consultation.

What is prenatal screening?
‘Prenatal’ means ‘before the birth’. A screening is an examination by means of a test. During prenatal screening it is examined if the baby has an increased risk of a birth defect.

Counselling is an extensive exchange of information with your midwife during which all possible options of prenatal screening are discussed. Included in the discussion are the benefits and disadvantages of these tests. This discussion will always take place prior to making a final decision about whether to go ahead or not with the tests.

From April 1st 2017 all pregnant women have the option to choose for the NIPT as an initial pre screening test for Down-, Edwards- and Patau syndrome. At this time clinical trials are still applicable in the Netherlands.
With the NIPT, blood is taken from a pregnant woman and is examined in a laboratory. In addition to her own DNA, the DNA of the placenta is also present in the mother’s blood. The DNA of the placenta is almost always the same as that of the baby. With the NIPT this DNA can be used to detect trisomy 21 (Down syndrome), trisomy 18 (Edwards syndrome) and trisomy 13 (Patau syndrome).
The reliability of the NIPT test is very high. If the results of a NIPT test states there is no presence of trisomy 21, 18 or 13 then the chance that results are wrong is lower than 1:1000. If results do state the presence of a trisomy there is a chance that the baby does not have trisomy after all.  To be certain, a CVS (Chorionic Villus Sampling) test or amniotic fluid test (amniocentesis) is suggested.  

  • The NIPT can be performed from 11 weeks of pregnancy.
  • The NIPT costs € 175  (not covered by health insurance)
  • The results take 10 working days
  • The NIPT does NOT determine the sex of the baby

Combined Test
Aside the NIPT you still have the option to choose for the combined test. The combined test takes place between week 11 and 14 of the pregnancy and consists of an ultrasound scan (nuchal translucency) and a blood test. The results of those two tests indicate if your baby has an increased risk of a chromosomal abnormality. The most well known is Down syndrome, but also Patau syndrome and Edwards syndrome are tested for.

Should the test show an increased risk for one of these syndromes, then you will be offered further testing. Every pregnant woman is given the choice to undergo the nuchal translucency- and blood test.

  • The combined test can be carried out between weeks 11 and 14 of the pregnancy.
  • The combined test costs € 168 (usually not covered by health insurance)
  • The combined test is a test of probability
  • The results take approx. 1 week

If you would like more information and help with choosing prenatal screening, please see and click on brochure below.

Informatie over screening op down-, edwards- en patausyndroom

The Structural Echoscopic Examination (SEO)/ the 20 week ultrasound scan

This is a detailed ultrasound scan where several structures of your unborn child are examined. The examination looks at amongst others the brain, the spine, kidneys and the heart. During the consultation we will provide more information about the 20 week ultrasound scan. You can also browse through the brochure below.

The 20 week ultrasound scan is covered by your basic health insurance and will be reimbursed by your health insurance provider.

Informatie over de 20 wekenecho

Prenatal Diagnostics

You are eligible for prenatal diagnostic if certain birth or genetic defects run in your family. Prenatal diagnostic usually means performing an amniotic fluid test (amniocentesis) or CVS (Chorionic Villus Sampling).
If applicable and if you wish, we can provide more information about these tests at your initial consultation.