During pregnancy, women have to take special care of their health. Along with diet, routine checkups and some tests are also required at this time, one of which is NIPT test. This test is very important for the health of both mother and child.
What is NIPT Test?
NIPT means noninvasive prenatal testing, detects genetic diseases in a child. A few weeks after conceiving, the baby’s DNA begins to mix in the mother’s blood, which can be investigated. NIPT is most often used to look for chromosomal disorders that are caused by the presence of an extra or missing copy of a chromosome.
By 10 weeks of pregnancy, your healthcare provider may talk to you about this elective test as an option to help identify if your baby is at risk for genetic abnormalities.
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. Your sample is then sent to a lab, where a technician will look at the cfDNA (Circulating Free DNA) in your blood for signs of abnormalities.
Which syndrome does this test examine?
- Down syndrome (trisomy 21)
- Turner syndrome
- Edwards syndrome (trisomy 18)
- Patau syndrome (trisomy 13)
Collecting your blood sample for NIPT poses no threat to your baby.
Indeed, the unborn child is more likely to have Down syndrome. If the child has a chance of developing Down syndrome, doctors recommend an amniocentesis or chorionic villus sampling test.
What is the process of NIPT?
For this, fluids are examined with the help of a doctor’s special ultrasound scan (NT scan), which is behind the child’s head. This is followed by a dual marker, the Combine Test, which gives the exact result of the disease.
When should NIPT be done?
- If the mother is over 30 years old
- Child having Down syndrome at first pregnancy
- If someone in the family has a genetic problem
The results are available in 10-12 business days from the day your blood sample was collected. The child is absolutely safe when the result comes negative. At the same time, if the test is positive, the child is at risk of any syndrome. In such a situation, you can consult a doctor.
Suggested Read: Find out how many days after the period a woman becomes pregnant
If you have an abnormal NIPT result, a diagnostic test such as CVS or amniocentesis can confirm the result. You should discuss your options with your doctor, midwife or genetic counselor.
NIPT test is more accurate than traditional first trimester screening and much less likely to give a false-positive or false negative result. That means there will be much less chance your doctor would recommend follow-up testing such as amniocentesis.
NIPT also detects your baby’s Rh blood type and gender, so be sure to let your doctor know if you want to be surprised on delivery day!
Before you go through with an NIPT test, double-check with your insurance company to find out if it’s fully covered – and if not, what it will cost you.