The aim of this study was to determine service users' experiences of and preferences for service delivery of fetal sex determination by noninvasive prenatal diagnosis (NIPD) using cell-free fetal DNA.


We used a qualitative approach using semistructured interviews. Thirty-eight women and six of their partners were recruited.


NIPD was viewed as a positive development, which facilitated reproductive autonomy as it expanded reproductive choice. The majority of women heard about NIPD during pregnancy and had received information about the test at a specialist centre. Features of NIPD women considered most important were that it could be performed early in pregnancy and was safe. Participants had a preference for being given information about NIPD and test results by a healthcare professional experienced in genetic testing and with specialist knowledge about their condition, rather than a general practitioner or midwife who may not have the same level of knowledge. Women also valued receiving their test results by telephone.


Women were overwhelmingly positive about their experience of NIPD, which suggests that current delivery of this service in England is acceptable to these patients who are at high risk of sex-linked genetic disorders. They particularly valued expert counselling both before and after testing, emphasising that it should be offered through specialist services. © 2012 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.