If you are considering starting a family, you should have a carrier screening test. This is a genetic test to identify if people have changes to the gene that causes CF. It is a simple blood test or a saliva swab.
You can ask your GP, obstetrician, IVF specialist or gynaecologist to give you a referral for your carrier screening test. This test screens for over 2,000 CF genotypes, but there can be some rare ones that won’t be detected routinely.
If you have a family history of CF or know a relative is a carrier, you must find out the specific gene change in your family. This will ensure that you are being screened for that particular gene change.
Carrier Screening is only available to those aged 18 years and older and is not covered by Medicare. The test costs between $200 and $300. However, if you have a close relative with CF (second cousin or closer), please tell the medical professional ordering the test for you, as Medicare will cover it.
From November 2023, if you are planning a pregnancy, a new Federal Government program will, in most cases, cover the costs of carrier screening under Medicare.