Prenatal screening

During your pregnancy you may choose to have prenatal screening. The screening consists of tests, which can detect potential (chromosomal) abnormalities in your unborn child.

Once you have registered at the practice, you will receive an email with additional information on this topic. It is important that you read this information well prior to the first consultation at the practice. During your first consultation we will discuss this in a lot more detail and there will be ample time for us to answer any questions you may have.

There are a number of possible tests:

  • Non-Invasive Prenatal Test (NIPT)
  • First trimester Structural Ultrasound Examination (ETSEO)
  • Structural Ultrasound Examination (SEO)

Non-Invasive Prenatal Test
The NIPT is a test during which the blood of the mother is checked for hereditary material (DNA) originating from the placenta. This DNA is nearly always equal to the baby’s DNA. In the laboratory the DNA is tested for the likelihood of your child having Down-, Edwards- or Patau’s syndrome, also known as trisomy 21, trisomy 18, and trisomy 13.

For this examination blood is taken from the arm. This does not increase the chances of a miscarriage.

How reliable is the NIPT?
The NIPT does not provide 100% certainty.  Research shows that the NIPT can indicate the following:
– 97 of 100 children with Trisomy 21
– 90 of 100 children with Trisomy 18
– 90 of 100 children with Trisomy 13.

The test result of the NIPT can be abnormal or not abnormal. An abnormal test result means that there are strong indicators that the unborn child has a trisomy 21, 18 or 13. However, in the event of an abnormal test result there is still a chance that the child does not have a trisomy. Therefore, a villus test or amniocentesis is required to confirm the NIPT test result. Villus testing and amniocentesis both increase the chances of a miscarriage slightly (0.1-0.2%)

The majority of test results are not abnormal. In case of a not abnormal test result, the chances of your child still having a trisomy is so small (smaller than 1:1000) that a subsequent test is not recommended. When pregnant women with an increased change of a trisomy have the NIPT test and the result is not abnormal, a villus test or amniocentesis is no longer required.

The NIPT can be carried out from week 11 in your pregnancy.
The costs for the NIPT are 175 euro and are not covered by your health insurer.

NEW: 13-week ultrasound

Starting September 1, 2021, the 13-week ultrasound will be offered, the first trimester structural ultrasound examination, ETSEO.

The 13-week ultrasound is a medical examination for physical abnormalities in the baby. The 13-week ultrasound is very similar to the 20-week ultrasound. In both examinations we use the ultrasound machine to see if there are any physical abnormalities in the baby.

The 13-week ultrasound can be done between 12+3 and 14+3 weeks of pregnancy. We will tell you the results immediately. In 95 out of 100 pregnancies we see no indications of an abnormality. Follow-up testing is then not necessary.

The 13-week ultrasound is part of a scientific study. This means that you can only opt for the 13-week ultrasound if you are taking part in the IMITAS scientific study and thereby agree to your data being used anonymously for the study and to the researchers being able to contact you for additional tests (such as a questionnaire or interview).

The purpose of the IMITAS study is to find out whether the advantages of the 13-week ultrasound outweigh the possible disadvantages.
– We can detect any serious physical abnormalities early in the pregnancy, allowing more time for additional testing and to decide what the results will do to you and mean for you
– An early ultrasound scan can also cause extra anxiety and uncertainty

The 13-week ultrasound is not a replacement for the 20-week ultrasound!

You will receive an extensive brochure with information about this test and an interview with us during our first scheduled appointment (counseling).

Midwives and ultrasound operators Monique and Nicole are both specially trained to perform this ultrasound.
High quality care and care in the familiar setting of our obstetric practice is very important to us!

The costs for this examination are fully paid by the government. There is no personal contribution.

It is important to know that there is a legal stipulation that the gender of the baby cannot be examined during this ultrasound.
You are welcome to have a sex determination at our midwifery practice from 15 weeks of pregnancy. Here you will find more information about pretecho’s.

For more information about the 13-week ultrasound, click here.

Structural Ultrasound Examination
This medical examination is also known as the 20 weeks ultrasound scan and is carried out between 19 and 21 weeks of pregnancy.
An ultrasound scan is used to determine whether or not the child has any psychical abnormalities.
It does not provide 100% certainty that the child is completely healthy. However, many abnormalities can be detected using an ultrasound scan.
In 95 out of 100 pregnancies no abnormalities are observed. Subsequent tests are not required. 
In case of a suspicion of an abnormality an extensive ultrasound scan is carried out at a centre for Prenatal Diagnostics. This is called an Advanced Ultrasound Examination (GUO).

The costs for the Structural Ultrasound Examination are covered by the basic health insurance package.

Important websites

Information about the NIPT (study format)

Help centre

Frequently Asked questions about the NIPT

Information about the Structural Ultrasound Examination