NIPT (Non-Invasive Prenatal Testing) is a screening test that aims to determine whether an unborn baby has chromosomal abnormalities that are likely to result in genetic conditions like Down's syndrome, Edwards' syndrome or Patau's syndrome. The results are determined by looking at the baby’s DNA in the mother’s blood, which is taken via a simple, non-invasive blood draw.
When is the best time for non-invasive prenatal testing?
The VERACITY Premium NIPT test can be carried out from as early as ten weeks into your pregnancy. If you haven’t had your first ultrasound scan yet, you can calculate how far along you are by counting from the first day of your last period.
While there is no cut-off point for NIPT, leaving it late will reduce the number of options available to you in the event of a ‘high risk’ result. So we recommend booking NIPT as soon as possible once you have passed the ten-week mark.
For example, if the NIPT result suggests that your baby is likely to be born with Down's syndrome, you may want to arrange an amniocentesis test to confirm it. This test is typically performed between 15 and 20 weeks, and while it can be done later in your pregnancy, it’s easier to get the test if you’re still within that window.
It is also worth noting that it can take up to 10 working days to receive the results of your NIPT test, so this is something to keep in mind when looking at the timeline of any additional tests you plan to book.
Is 14 weeks too late for NIPT?
No, it’s not too late. As stated above, there is no upper limit on when you can do NIPT, but the later you do it, the fewer your options when it comes to additional tests and procedures.
Note that, if you receive a ‘high risk’ NIPT result at 14 weeks, you will not be able to arrange chorionic villus sampling (CVS) to confirm it. This procedure can only be performed between 10 and 13 weeks of pregnancy, so you will already have missed the cut-off.
Is NIPT suitable for all pregnancies?
Unfortunately, NIPT is not available for all pregnancies. You can’t book a VERACITY test if you…
- Have not yet reached 10 weeks gestation
- Are pregnant with three children or more
- Have had a blood transfusion in the last 12 weeks
- Have chromosomal abnormalities or cancer
- Have had an organ transplant, stem cell therapy or immunotherapy in the last 12 weeks
How can I book NIPT?
To book your VERACITY Premium NIPT appointment, simply click the button below or contact the First Encounters team. Our clinic is conveniently located in Cardiff Gate Business Park, just off the M4.
If your NIPT result suggests that your baby is at high risk of one or more genetic conditions, our experienced staff members will be on hand to help you decide what to do next. You may wish to check out Positive About Down Syndrome (PADS), as well as local charities like Seren Dwt who offer support for the parents of children born with an extra chromosome.