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Non-invasive Prenatal Testing (NIPT) Explained

Updated: Oct 12, 2023

The NIPT test – also known as Non-Invasive Prenatal Testing exists to provide peace of mind to new parents who may have concerns about their baby’s prenatal development. But is NIPT right for you and your baby?

Every single baby is absolutely perfect. If you’re an expectant mum, however, you naturally want your baby to be the most perfect at all!

Even so, you surely understand that fetal development is a deeply complex and involved process. While the process ensures that your baby will be as unique as a snowflake, it also means that variations in DNA may happen. Excited, proactive parents are often eager to understand what to expect when their new little one arrives.

Read on to learn more about this Noninvasive Prenatal Testing, which can help give you information that can help you prepare for the arrival of your new baby!

What is a Noninvasive Prenatal Testing (NIPT)?

A NIPT Test is a safe test that can provide you with helpful information about your baby’s chromosomes. Through examining a sample of mum’s blood, the lab can screen the cell-free DNA which has travelled from the placenta.

The simplicity of the test is a comfort for many mums-to-be. In the past, this information was only available by combining screening methods with biochemical testing, which has a low accuracy record, or undergoing a more invasive test called amniocentesis.

During the test, a technician will draw some of mum’s blood and send it for lab analysis. They may also ask for a sample of the father’s DNA, such as a cheek swab. After about a week, you’ll receive results.

Those results can let you know if your baby has abnormalities, or trisomies, in Chromosomes 21, 18, or 13. A trisomy is an additional chromosome that isn’t usually present. The additional chromosomes cause conditions such as Down syndrome, Edwards syndrome, or Patau syndrome.

Depending on the type of NIPT test taken, the test may also be able to detect other changes in the genome. At Imaginatal, we use VERAgene which can also screen for single gene diseases and microdeletions. This can help to detect conditions such as DiGeorge syndrome and Turner Syndrome.

When Can You Have a NIPT Test?

You can have a NIPT test after the tenth week of pregnancy. Ideally, you should use the date given to you during your first ultrasound scan. You want to be certain that you’re far enough along so that the results will be as accurate as possible! The tests at our clinic can be taken by pregnant women of all ages.

What are the benefits of a NIPT?

Many older parents, or parents with other risk factors, find it comforting to learn this information early. In the event of a positive result, it can help you to make plans for the care of your unique little one. In the event of a negative result, it can put your mind at ease.

The non-invasive nature of the test is also a major benefit! It means avoiding more invasive procedures, such as amniocentesis unless they’re absolutely necessary. It keeps both mum and baby safe!

What Does a NIPT Show?

The results will reveal the likelihood that your baby has a genetic condition.

A positive result indicates a higher than average chance that your baby has a condition linked to unwanted changes in the genome. If you receive a positive result, you may consider further testing for peace of mind.

A negative result will show that your baby most likely doesn’t have a trisomy, monosomy or single gene condition.

A NIPT Test Brings Peace of Mind

Every parent wants to learn all that they can about their little one, so why should you be any different? If you have concerns about chromosomal disorders, there’s no reason why you shouldn’t pursue the answers you need. NIPT tests exists to provide information and peace of mind, so why not take advantage?

NIPTs are available at our Imaginatal clinics. If you’d like to further discuss NIPT tests, please be in touch. We’d love to help you to embrace and enjoy every moment of your pregnancy!

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