happy pregnant woman with a doctor getting an ultrasound

A new online tool has been launched to support expectant parents in their choices around prenatal testing for chromosome conditions in their unborn baby.

It’s YourChoice, created by the Murdoch Children’s Research Institute and James Cook University, aims to guide pregnant women through the prenatal testing options and which tests may be best suited for them.

Screening and diagnostic tests are available to all pregnant women to test for chromosome conditions such as Down Syndrome. Chromosome conditions are common and are caused by changes to the number or structure of chromosomes (the packages of DNA in our cells). 

The interactive website features a 15-minute decision aid that guides the user through a series of questions and suggests a preferred testing pathway based on their answers. The results can then be saved to discuss later with a health professional. 

Murdoch Children’s Professor Jane Halliday said the website was designed to ensure women and their partners could have informed discussions with their maternity care provider.

“Prenatal screening tests provide information to pregnant women about the health of their unborn baby and the chance of chromosome conditions,” she said. Our decision aid asks women about their values and preferences and provides them with suggested options to discuss with a health professional.

“There are many different prenatal tests available now, which makes it hard for people to navigate the system. We hope this tool will help women make informed decisions about whether or not to have testing and to understand the range of tests available to them.”   

James Cook University Professor Cate Nagle said the decision aid was not a stand-alone tool and worked alongside clinical support.

“It's not meant to take the place of the doctor or midwife,” she said. Pregnancy visits can be quick and don’t always allow for in-depth discussions around screening options, which are quite complex to understand.”

“The website provides a summary as well as extra information and resources so every woman can find what she’s looking for at her fingertips.”

Victorian Clinical Genetics Services Reproductive Genetic Counselling Group Leader Dr Alison Archibald said early pregnancy could be a complex time for pregnant people and their partners.

“With a range of genetic screening and testing options available in early pregnancy, deciding whether to have screening and what test to choose can be tricky,” she said.

“This decision tool provides comprehensive information in an accessible way and will be a very useful resource in supporting people to make right decision for them.”

To access the website, visit yourchoice.mcri.edu.au

Available for interview:

Professor Jane Halliday, Murdoch Children Group Leader, Reproductive Epidemiology

Professor Cate Nagle, James Cook University

Obstetrician and Associate Professor Lisa Hui, Murdoch Children’s Co-Group Leader, Reproductive Epidemiology

Media Contacts:

Bridie Byrne
Murdoch Children’s media manager                                                                                
+61 457 365 848

Alistair Bone
James Cook University media liaison
+61 409 734 542
[email protected] 

About Murdoch Children’s Research Institute

The Murdoch Children's Research Institute is the largest child health research institute in Australia committed to making discoveries and developing treatments to improve child and adolescent health in Australia and around the world. They are pioneering new treatments, trialling better vaccines and improving ways of diagnosing and helping sick babies, children and adolescents. It is one of the only research institutes in Australia to offer genetic testing to find answers for families of children with previously undiagnosed conditions.


The website was funded by the Murdoch Children’s Research Institute and James Cook University.