Having a family of your own can be a lifelong dream, but it can also be full of unknown hurdles and hidden twists and turns. But starting a family does not have to be frightening. With modern technology, more and more of the guesswork is being taken out of the process. NIPT testing is one of the technologies available today that can provide peace of mind in all stages of pregnancy, from start to finish.
What is NIPT?
NIPT is an acronym meaning “non-invasive prenatal testing.” This type of testing is done to screen for a variety of issues that can form within the womb, looking for things such as Down’s syndrome or other chromosomal abnormalities. NIPT can also tell you the biological sex of your baby.
NIPT differs from other types of prenatal testing in that it is completely safe for an unborn fetus. NIPT uses blood taken directly from both parents, which means that there is no need to insert a needle or any other obtrusive object into the placental area. It can be done at any stage in the pregnancy as well, allowing parents plenty of time to process the results.
Who should get NIPT?
While NIPT is available for anyone, there are certain factors that make it more necessary for some than others. For instance, parents who may be carriers of a certain gene may want to get NIPT testing to assure that the gene is not passed on to their child. One parent may have a gene that may possibly cause cerebral palsy. NIPT can determine if the other parent also contributed a cerebral palsy gene and whether or not the baby is likely to develop this issue.
NIPT can also help parents worry less about the health of their baby in utero and prepare them for life after their child is born. Even if parents carry genes that might cause a genetic disorder, it does mean that their child will inherit the disorder.
Should anyone not get NIPT testing?
Another important thing to remember is that a positive NIPT result does not automatically mean that a child will have an issue. Oftentimes when a positive result occurs, doctors will recommend additional testing to confirm a diagnosis and begin a treatment plan.
How is NIPT Testing Done?
NIPT testing is a simple blood test done at a doctor’s office. Usually the mother is tested first, and if the possibility for chromosomal abnormalities is found, the father of the child is tested to determine if the other half of a chromosomal abnormality may come into play. The test is a simple blood draw that takes very little time. The sample is sent to a lab for DNA analysis, and results are usually returned to parents within a few weeks.
Choosing NIPT Testing
Undergoing prenatal testing is a safe and easy way to provide a better picture to future parents about the health of their baby. The test is simple and minimally painful, too: just a simple blood draw to test for certain chromosomes in the DNA of your future child. Testing is usually covered by insurance, meaning it will give you peace of mind with very little out-of-pocket costs for your family.