Non-Invasive Prenatal Testing (NIPT)

Non-Invasive Prenatal Testing (NIPT) is a new way to screen for Down syndrome, trisomy 18, and trisomy 13. During a pregnancy, some of the baby’s cells break down end up in the mother’s blood stream. These broken down cells release DNA. DNA is the ‘genetic make-up’ of a person. The technology used in NIPT detects the baby’s DNA and provides a way to identify if the baby is at increased chance  of having a chromosomal condition.

NIPT requires two tubes of maternal blood and this sample can be collected any time after 10 weeks gestation. Results are usually available in about 10 days.

NIPT is available to all women, but may be most considered in the following situations:

  • Those women who have had have had a positive early prenatal screen in the first trimester (nuchal transluceny) or second trimester ( maternal serum screeen)
  • Advanced maternal age (35 years or older)
  • Having a previous pregnancy with a chromosomal condition

This test is offered in Alberta by a private company and is not presently covered by Alberta Health Care. If you would like NIPT, the cost is approximately $550.

For more information on having NIPT, please talk to your doctor.