Prenatal Genetic Screening Program

Prenatal genetic screening can tell a pregnant woman her chance of having a baby with Down syndrome, trisomy 18, or an open neural tube defect. It is offered free of charge as a choice to all pregnant women with MSP coverage in BC.*
For Families

If you are thinking of having a baby, or if you are pregnant, this section on prenatal genetic screening can answer many of your questions. It can also prepare you for an informed discussion with your partner and your health care provider.

Keep in mind:

  • It is your choice whether or not to have prenatal genetic screening.
  • The earlier in your pregnancy you see your health care provider, the more options you will have.
Learn More

To learn more about prenatal genetic screening in BC:

When to Have Blood Drawn

If you have decided to have prenatal screening, use our pregnancy dating tool to find out when to have your blood drawn.

*If you do not have MSP coverage, prenatal genetic screening is available for a fee. BC Children's Hospital finance department will send you an invoice for $125. You may also be charged for blood collection by the facility who draws your blood.

The Genome Canada / UBC Pegasus NIPT research study is no longer recruiting pregnant women for the low-risk part of the study. 

However, the study is still looking for women who meet the criteria for the high-risk part of the study. 

The high-risk criteria are: 

  • 19 years or older
  • pregnant with a singleton
  • between 10 weeks and 23 weeks 6 days gestation
  • qualifies for invasive procedures (amniocentesis/ CVS) whether you choose them or not (applicable invasive procedure eligibility is: screen positive for trisomy 21, 18; maternal age 40 years or older; a previous trisomy pregnancy; or pregnancy with IVF with ICSI) 
If you meet the above criteria and would like to donate a blood sample to help validate NIPT technology in Canada, please contact the study coordinator at  

Please note that study participants do not receive any results. 

For Health Care Providers
If you are a health care provider, please visit our Health Care Provider Resources section at Health Professionals > Professional Resources > Screening > Prenatal Genetic (or use the button below), which will assist you in offering genetic screening in your medical practice. 
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SOURCE: Prenatal Genetic Screening Program ( )
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