If you are thinking of going for a Non-Invasive Prenatal Testing (NIPT), you need to know all the things related to the NIPT Test.
Everyone knows that pregnancy brings happiness and excitement in a Mother’s life. As we all are aware, the first few days can be a source of nervousness when your midwife starts talking about genetic testing. Suddenly, it becomes real to every mother that she must choose whether or not to track down anything that might affect her baby.
We understand that these decisions on your journey as a parent can be difficult. But one way to know with greater certainty is to be well informed. We will help you find out what the NIPT test is and what it can (and cannot) tell you so that you feel more empowered to make the best decision for yourself.
Explaining the NIPT screen
The NIPT prenatal test is sometimes called non-invasive prenatal screening (NIPS). At your 8 week booking appointment, your midwife may talk to you about this elective test as an option to help identify if your baby is at risk for genetic abnormalities, such as chromosomal disorders.
Most often, the test determines the risk of disorders such as Down syndrome (trisomy 21), Edwards syndrome (trisomy 18), and Patau syndrome (trisomy 13), as well as conditions caused by X chromosomes. and Y missing or additional.
The blood test checks all the tiny pieces of cell-free DNA (cDNA) from the placenta that are present in the blood of a pregnant woman. cfDNA is incarnated and is usually seen when these cells are broken down, weak or might be dead hence they are seen releasing some of the DNA in the blood unit also called the bloodstream.
It is necessary to know that the NIPT is a screening test, not a diagnostic test. This means that the test cannot diagnose a genetic condition with certainty. It can, however, predict whether the risk of a genetic disease is high or low.
On the bright side, cfDNA also holds the answer to a big question: whether you’re carrying a boy or a girl. Yes, this prenatal test can reveal your baby’s gender in the first trimester – sooner than any ultrasound!
How the NIPT is done
NIPT is done with a simple maternal blood draw, so it poses no risk to you or your baby. Once your blood is drawn, it will be sent to a specific laboratory whose technicians will analyze the results.
Your results will have been sent to your OB / GYN or midwife’s office within 8 to 14 days. Each office may have a different policy for delivering results, but someone on your healthcare provider’s staff will likely call and advise you from there.
If you keep your baby’s gender as a big surprise (even to you) until his “birthday,” remind your healthcare providers to keep this detail of your NIPT results a secret.
Who should get the NIPT prenatal test
While optional, NIPT is generally offered to women based on the recommendations and protocols of their midwife. However, some risk factors could lead your midwife to recommend it more fully.
According to this 2013 review from the trusted source of NIPT, some of these risk factors include:
- Usually, it is seen that the Maternal age of 35 years or more than that may face this risk.
- This may be seen by family genes that may affect and so is the risk included in this list.
- A maternal or paternal chromosomal abnormality.
Deciding to have the NIPT screening test is a very personal decision, so it’s okay to take the time to determine what is best for you. If you are having a tough time, consider speaking with your midwife who can help you address your concerns and better inform you.
Understand what the NIPT test results mean
The NIPT measures fetal cfDNA in the mother’s bloodstream, which comes from the placenta. This is called the fetal fraction. To obtain the most accurate test results possible, the fetal fraction should be greater than 4 %. This usually happens around the 10th week of pregnancy and that is why testing is recommended after this time.
There are several ways to analyze fetal cfDNA. The most common way is to determine the amount of maternal and fetal cfDNA. The test will analyze specific chromosomes to see if the percentage of cfDNA on each of these chromosomes is considered “normal.”
If it is within the standard range, the result will be “negative”. This means that the fetus has a lower risk of suffering from the genetic conditions caused by the chromosomes in question.
If the cfDNA is higher than the standard range, this could lead to a “positive” result, meaning that the fetus may be at increased risk for a genetic condition. But rest assured: NIPT is not 100 % conclusive. Positive results require further testing to confirm any true positive fetal chromosome abnormality or a related disorder.
For further information on NIPT please visit our website at Bump2Babyscans or contact us on +44 116 40 30 211