Preconceptionele dragerschapsscreening
Image: ©Unsplash

Preconception carrier screening

The Health Council of the Netherlands recommends pilot research to determine whether preconception carrier screening could be responsibly offered to all prospective parents in the Netherlands.

Severe hereditary disorders can be passed on to children when both biological parents are carriers. Many people are unaware of their carrier status, but this can be detected through genetic testing before attempting to conceive. The primary goal is to provide carrier couples with the information needed to make informed decisions regarding reproduction. In the Netherlands, prospective parent couples with an already established higher than average chance of being a carrier couple are currently offered carrier screening. The Minister of Health, Welfare and Sport has sought the advice of the Health Council regarding the desirability of extending preconception carrier screening to all prospective parents. According to the Health Council, such an extension would complement existing screening programmes during pregnancy and after childbirth. Therefore, the Health Council recommends considering preconception carrier screening for all prospective parents and conducting a pilot study to determine the most suitable approach.