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NIPT Pregnancy Q&A

The NIPT (also known as the harmony test) is usually offered at 10 weeks + 4 days of pregnancy. It is the most accurate way of identifying the risk of the baby being born with certain genetic defects such as Down Syndrome (Trisomy 21), Edward Syndrome (Trisomy 18), or Patau Syndrome (Trisomy 13).
During pregnancy, small fragments of DNA released from the placenta circulate in the mother's blood. By taking a small sample of the mother's blood, we can isolate them and examine them for genetic abnormalities.
NIPT Ultrasound Scan is 99% accurate in detecting Down syndrome in your baby. It is slightly less slighted in detecting Edward's and Patau's syndrome. However, there is a slight chance that the test will not be able to detect Down syndrome.
You also need to have a full bladder for your 10 weeks Ultrasound Scan. It is advised to stay hydrated for this test but avoid drinking tea or coffee, which could make blood draw more difficult. You are not required to fast prior to your appointment.
A full bladder allows the ultrasound to visualise the uterus and ovaries. It pushes the gas-filled loops of the bowel out of the way and opens a viewing window to the pelvis.
It is performed like a standard blood test. We take a blood sample from the mother's arm and send it to the laboratory for examination.
You will be asked to lie on your back with your tummy exposed. The sonographer will cover the examined area with ultrasound gel which guarantees smooth movement of the probe over the skin. An image of your baby will appear on the screen. You will get a 2D picture to take home with you.
Yes. The clear ultrasound gel is not toxic and is safe to use during your ultrasound scan. It does not stain or otherwise ruin your clothes. It has no spermicide and can be used for fertility cases without effect on sperm and conception.
In London Private Ultrasound clinic, it is completed within 40 minutes (NIPT blood test + ultrasound scan).
Our London Private Ultrasound clinic will be able to get the results of the NIPT blood test within 7 to 10 days. We will notify you by phone or email once they are available. Your test results will be discussed with you, and a written report will be emailed to you afterward.
No. It is a personal choice to have this test done.
The Ultrasound Scan is not painful. However, a small blood sample must be taken from the mother's arm to perform the test.
Even though NIPT is the most accurate way of telling if there is a chance of any genetic defects, no test is 100% accurate. It only shows the risk of having these defects, and it is not definite.