NIPT is a prenatal screening, which looks at DNA from your baby’s placenta in a sample of your blood to identify whether you’re at increased risk of giving birth to a child with a genetic disorder. The results of an NIPT screening can help you and your doctor decide next steps, including whether to have a diagnostic test like chorionic villus sampling (CVS) or amniocentesis (“amnio”). These genetic tests analyze a baby’s own genetic material, collected from the amniotic fluid or placenta, to tell with 100 percent certainty whether a baby has a chromosome abnormality. However they are invasive, which means they slightly increase the chance of miscarriage.
Because an NIPT involves only a quick blood draw with a needle and syringe, it’s safe for you and your baby. All you’ll need to do is offer up your arm at the doctor’s office or a lab. Once the results of your NIPT are back, your doctor will likely pair them with the results of your first-trimester ultrasound or nuchal translucency screening to determine whether further testing is needed. If it’s positive, your doctor may recommend following up with amniocentesis or CVS to confirm the result…
NIPTs screen for the most common chromosomal disorders: Trisomy 21 (Down syndrome) Trisomy 18 (Edwards syndrome) Trisomy 13 (Patau syndrome)
NIPT can be performed any time after 10 weeks into your pregnancy – earlier than any other prenatal screening or diagnostic test.
NIPTs were recommended for women at high risk for carrying a baby with a chromosomal abnormality – like moms-to-be who are 35 or older, previously had a child with a genetic disorder or have a family history of these conditions.