Non-invasive Prenatal Testing or NIPT is a way to test whether your unborn child may have certain chromosome markers that can help determine if your child might be at risk of the following:
- Down syndrome
- Turner syndrome
- Extra sequences of Chromosome 13
- Extra sequences of Chromosome 18
- Sex abnormality
Currently, this test is only available to women who might be affected by one of these rarities. Most women choose this type of prenatal testing as it does not put their unborn child at risk.
Why Perform Non-invasive Prenatal Testing?
Most of the time, your health care provider will suggest NIPT whenever you fall into certain risk conditions such as:
- Having an Rh Negative blood type
- Being a Carrier of an X-Linked disorder
- You are likely to pass along a chromosome condition to your child
At the moment, non-invasive prenatal testing is only performed on women who might be at risk of passing along one of these abnormalities. Research is being conducted to see if this test will be helpful for other women who don’t fall into one of the qualifying risk categories.
When to Perform Non-invasive Prenatal Testing?
Noninvasive prenatal testing should never be done before the 10th week of the pregnancy. However, the test can be performed after the 10th week of your pregnancy without many complications. Tests results generally are available for review after two weeks.
How to Prepare for Non-invasive Prenatal Testing?
The first thing you need to do is make sure that the prenatal test is covered by your health care insurance. Next, you need to make sure that your health care provider actually provides this service. If they do not, then you need to find a provider who does provide NIPT services. Of course, this type of prenatal test will only be recommended if your child might be a risk of contracting one of these abnormalities.
Talking with your health care provider should be one of your first steps. They will talk with you and discuss everything beforehand, helping you understand the necessity of the tests, what to expect from the results and then what to do after you have received the results.
What Results to Expect in NIPT?
Results take roughly two weeks to be processed and returned. Once returned, your health care provider can help you decode the information and determine what steps you need to take.
In most cases, everything will be fine and you can breathe a sigh of relief. However, there are a few times where there are genetic markers that indicate possible complications. Of course, your health care provider will discuss the situation with you to help you understand what you can do, what they can do and what might happen to your child during this process.
You may have to go through more tests if certain markers indicate possible complications. For chromosomal abnormalities, there aren’t any medicines or methods that will counteract or correct them. In these cases, you will have to decide whether you want to continue to pregnancy or not.
Remember, even if you don’t go through these tests, you can still pass along these risks to your child. Testing should not be an option, especially if your health care provider recommends them.
Are There Any Risks in Doing NIPT?
Noninvasive prenatal test does not put you or your baby at risk at any time and it is generally used to help avoid other more invasive, costly tests.
Does NIPT Cover All Chromosomal Or Genetic Conditions?
It does not cover all of the possible chromosomal or genetic conditions. This prenatal test is generally used as a pre-screening tool in order to determine the probability of risk that your unborn child might have.
If the results from the test show a possible issue, then more test are likely to be required.
Is Noninvasive Prenatal Testing Related to Cord Blood Stem Cell Banking?
Actually, there it has no relation with cord blood stem cell banking at all. The noninvasive prenatal test is done during early weeks of pregnancy while the decision whether to bank your baby’s cord blood stem cells is often made a few weeks before the delivery.
There is one similar advantage that this prenatal test and cord blood stem cell banking have in common though — their process is both safe, painless and poses no risk to you and your baby.
And just like how your healthcare provider will explain the NIPT results to you, if you choose to save your baby’s cord blood stem cells with Cells4Life and once all tests are completed, we will discuss the results with you and your partner.
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