A Non-Invasive Pregnancy Test is a simple blood test, taken from the mother, from as early as 10 weeks into pregnancy. The test picks up the baby’s DNA within the mother’s bloodstream, and, once it is analysed, this DNA can reveal a treasure trove of important information about your baby, including it’s gender and whether or not they have certain chromosomal conditions.
Are NIPT Tests available on the NHS?
NIPT Tests are not available on the NHS. Their is a blood test, which you are offered as standard, which will show if your baby is a high risk for Down’s Syndrome. If this test is positive, you will then be offered an invasive test, which carries the risk of miscarriage. A NIPT carries absolutely no risk to the baby, it is a simple blood test with no other appointments necessary, and your results are ready within a week.
It’s a great option if you have been identified as high risk, but do not want to endanger your baby with further tests, or if you simply want a thorough screening and to know the sex as soon as possible, so you have total peace of mind and can be best prepared for whatever parenthood might throw at you.
The Vision Test
There are several NIPT test available privately. The test we recommend is called the Vision test. You can see from the comparison chart on the right why this test is so highly regarded – it has the lowest failure rate (just 0.10%), and results are back within a week.
What does it test for?
Specifically the test looks at the chromosomes within the baby’s DNA. This means it is able to detect chromosomal abnormalities, including Down’s, Edward’s and Patau’s syndrome. It will also accurately detect XX (girl) or XY (boy) chromosomes, as well as sex chromosome conditions.
The earliest you can have a scan to test for a baby’s gender is around 16 weeks. But a NIPT can be taken from as early as 10 weeks, with the results arriving just a week later. We are proud of our 99.0% accuracy from 3D Gender Scans, but ultimately a scan relies on the sonographer’s expertise and experience to tell the sex of the baby, which can be open to interpretation, so 1 in every 100 scans will be wrong.
The NIPT is 99.8% accurate, meaning that only 2 in every 1000 tests will be wrong, making this test 5 times more accurate.
How does it work?
It is importqnt that we confirm that you are 10 weeks pregnant for the blood test to work. Every NIPT includes a complimentary scan to check this, but if you have already had a scan recently, you do not need to have another (algthough you can still use your complimentary scan later).
If you require a scan, simply book in to visit us on one of our normal clinic days, when the sonogrpaher can perfrom a normal reassurance and dating scan, and the phlebotomist will take your blood sample.
If you do not require a scan, you can make an appointment to come on any day. Alternatively, home visits can be arranged at a time to suit you.
Our experienced phlebotomist will then take one tube of blood from your arm and send it to the lab. The whole process takes less than 20 minutes.
The lab will then separate the baby’s DNA from your own, and within 5 working days, the results will be emailed to you.
What if the test finds something?
If the test comes back positive for one of the conditions, then we will arrange for a genetic counsellor to give you a call within a day of the results coming back. Genetic counsellors are specifically trained professionals who will explain exactly what the results mean, and talk through all the options with you with total sensitivity and empathy.
If the results are all clear, the good news will be emailed directly to you.
The Vision Test normally costs £495 when purchased directly. But if you book the test with Hey Baby 4D, we can offer the test for just £450, as well as including a free Reassurance Scan, worth £59, and gaining you discounts off any scans you might have in the future.