Non-Invasive Prenatal Test (NIPT) is a more sensitive and specific prenatal screening that works by looking at the DNA of the baby with a simple blood test on the mother. NIPT screens for some of the more common chromosomal disorders such as Down syndrome, Edwards 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, mircodeletions, 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 have invasive diagnostic tests like Amniocentesis or Chorionic Villus Sampling (CVS). These are tests which analyse the baby’s genetic material using its amniotic fluid or placenta. However, these diagnostic tests may increase the chances of a miscarriage.