The UK NSC recommendation on Vasa praevia screening in pregnancy

Recommendation Systematic population screening programme not recommended
Last review completed August 2017
Next review due in 2020/21
Key downloads

Find general information about population health screening.

Why is screening not recommended by UK NSC?

Screening women for vasa praevia during pregnancy is not recommended because:

  • it is not known how many babies are affected by it in the UK
  • it is not known how accurate screening tests are at detecting it
  • screening may mean some women are offered an early caesarean when they do not need one
  • some women may be reassured by false tests and still have a problem during delivery

More about Vasa praevia

Vasa praevia is a rare but serious health condition. It occurs when the blood vessels from the placenta or umbilical cord block the birth canal. This causes the blood vessels to tear during birth and has serious consequences fpr the mother and her baby. 

» Also see the UK NSC policy on placenta praevia


Faculty of Public Health
The Harry Cunningham Trust
National Childbirth Trust
Royal College of General Practitioners
Royal College of Midwives
Royal College of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists
Royal College of Physicians
Royal College of Physicians and Surgeons of Glasgow
Royal College of Physicians of Edinburgh
Society and College of Radiographers
Vasa Praevia Raising Awareness

The stakeholder groups will be involved when the recommendation is next reviewed. If you think your organisation should be added, please contact us. More information for stakeholders can be found in appendix C of the UK NSC evidence review process.

Related documents

icon Evidence summary- vasa praevia (2013) (PDF document, 3.01MB, 19/12/19)

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