Cookies on this website

We use cookies to ensure that we give you the best experience on our website. If you click 'Accept all cookies' we'll assume that you are happy to receive all cookies and you won't see this message again. If you click 'Reject all non-essential cookies' only necessary cookies providing core functionality such as security, network management, and accessibility will be enabled. Click 'Find out more' for information on how to change your cookie settings.

Non-invasive prenatal testing (NIPT) is provided in the private and public sectors worldwide as a first- or second-tier test. In England and France, NIPT is fully funded and offered as a contingent strategy with different probability cut-offs (1:150 and 1:1000). These different approaches to define the target population for NIPT have implications for how women experience their antenatal care. The paper explores and compares the perceptions and difficulties of women in England and France who took NIPT as a second-tier screening test. It is based on a semi-structured qualitative interview study with 17 women in England and France conducted between September 2021 and May 2022. The interviews were cross-analyzed using thematic analysis. Our findings show that most women express a preference for the offer of NIPT as a first-line screening test. Some issues with the contingent model, related to the access to information and termination of pregnancy (TOP), the disparities of NIPT uptake, and risks of generating anxiety with combined first-trimester screening (cFTS), could be addressed by a universal strategy for T21, T13, and T18. Nevertheless, this strategy could present some challenges for genetic counseling due to: women's understanding and expectations of NIPT; adequate information and counseling about the scope and limits of NIPT; concerns about the routinization of NIPT in the first-line offer; limitations and uncertainties associated with the provision of expanded NIPT in France; the remaining importance of other screening tests; and associated costs.

Original publication




Journal article


J Genet Couns

Publication Date



ethics, non-invasive prenatal testing, policy, prenatal genetics, women's experiences