AUTHOR: Obstetrician Dr Peter England
Free Genetic Testing before your Pregnancy is now available for Australian patients. If you are considering a pregnancy, or in early pregnancy, Medicare now offers you the opportunity to complete a free genetic screening test.
You can now find out if you carry the gene for cystic fibrosis, spinal muscular atrophy and fragile X syndrome.
From 1 November 2023, Medicare is covering the cost of Reproductive Genetic Carrier Screening, for three of the most common types of genetic conditions.
- Cystic Fibrosis
- Spinal Muscular Atrophy
- Fragile X Syndrome
Reproductive carrier screening can identify your risk of having a child with one of these three serious conditions, either before conception (preferred) or in early pregnancy.
The reproductive carrier screen is a blood or saliva test. It looks to see if you carry genetic changes (mutations) that could cause certain genetic conditions in your baby. Women planning a pregnancy can take the genetic testing first, and if the results show a positive marker for any of the three genes, it will be recommended their partner also take the test.
We now have the saliva kits within the practice. If you would like to take the test, make sure to let me know at your next appointment.
For answers to more of the most common questions about this topic, here’s a quick video with the answers.
Can I do this test if I am already pregnant?
Yes. You can take the test in early pregnancy.
Are there any costs?
Patients with Medicare are covered for the costs of this test. If you do not have access to Medicare, there is an out-of-pocket fee.
Does it only test for three conditions?
Yes. Medicare is covering the screening test for three genetic conditions. There are other tests available, speak with your doctor about whether additional tests are recommended for you, or we will discuss the options together during your appointment with me.
Make an appointment to learn more about Free Genetic Testing before your Pregnancy. Contact us here.
Author: Dr Peter England, Obstetrician and Gynaecologist.
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