Non-invasive prenatal testing (NIPT)

Last updated: April 18th, 2021

Non-invasive prenatal testing (NIPT) lab work

Your pregnancy ultrasound scan result is out. It indicates that your baby has a higher-chance of having Down’s syndrome or Edwards’ syndrome or Patau’s syndrome.

That does not mean your baby definitely has one of the conditions. Now what?

Your choices are as follows:

  • Have no further tests.
  • Have a further screening test (non-invasive prenatal testing, known as NIPT)
  • Have a diagnostic test (chorionic villus sampling (CVS) or amniocentesis)

Your choice

Further testing can give you more accurate information. This tells how likely it is your baby may have one of the conditions mentioned.

People choose to have further tests or not for lots of different reasons. Your choice is personal. You do not need to make any decisions straight away.

In any case, your decision is respected and treated in the strictest confidence by health professionals.

They’ll look after you and your baby and will tell you about support organisations that can help you. The information they will give you will provide further information. Information about, and support following, a NIPT high-chance result.

NIPT explained

NIPT stands for non-invasive prenatal test. NIPT is a more accurate blood test. It's offered to women who are carrying a baby identified as being at a higher-chance of having a condition from previous screening tests.

No screening test is 100% accurate. So NIPT cannot definitely tell if your baby has Down’s syndrome, Edwards’ syndrome or Patau’s syndrome.

NIPT procedure and safety

Like other pregnancy screening tests, it’s completely safe and will not harm you or your baby.

You would be offered the same screening choices if you’re pregnant with twins as you would be if you were pregnant with one baby.

NIPT will give results about all three conditions. You cannot choose to be screened for Down’s syndrome only or Edwards’ syndrome and Patau’s syndrome only, like in earlier screening.

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