What is carrier screening?

Carrier screening is a type of genetic testing that can be done before or during pregnancy. It is used to see if you are a carrier of a genetic disorder that you could pass on to your child.

Being a carrier of a genetic disorder doesn’t mean you have that disorder. It just means you have a change (called a mutation) in one copy of a gene that could cause a genetic disorder. You and you partner both need to be carriers of the same disorder to be at increased risk. Most people don’t know they are carriers until after they’ve had screening because carriers typically do not have symptoms. Carrier screening is a critical step that can give you valuable information that can impact your family’s future.

Part of your pregnancy checklist

Carrier screening can provide you with information that might be helpful if you:

  • Are pregnant or planning a pregnancy
  • Have a family history of a genetic disorder
  • Are at increased risk for a specific disorder based on your ethnicity
  • Would like additional information about your reproductive risks