Non-Invasive Prenatal Test (NIPT) is a more sensitive and specific prenatal screening method compared to OSCAR that works by examining fetal DNA found within a sample of the mother’s blood. NIPT screens for some of the more common chromosomal disorders such as Down syndrome, Edward’s syndrome and Patau syndrome.
The sex of the baby can also be determined before it can be seen on ultrasound. They can even screen for certain sex chromosome abnormalities, triploidy, microdeletions, DiGeorge syndrome, Angelman syndrome, Cri-du-chat syndrome and Prader-Willi syndrome. The test only requires a quick blood draw from the mother and is usually performed from week 9 of a pregnancy onwards.
Results of an NIPT screening can help you decide your next steps, including whether to undergo invasive diagnostic tests like Amniocentesis or Chorionic Villus Sampling (CVS). These are invasive tests which analyse the baby’s genetic material found in the amniotic fluid or placenta. However, these diagnostic tests may increase the chances of a miscarriage.