What is NIPT Screening?
A Non-Invasive Prenatal Test (NIPT) 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 what its gender is likely to be and it can give an indication as to whether certain chromosomal conditions are likely to be present.
Are NIPT Tests available on the NHS?
At present, NIPT tests are not widely available on the NHS. The NHS does offer a blood test as standard to indicate the likelihood that your baby has Down’s, Edwards’ or Patau’s Syndromes. If this chance is considered high, you will then be offered further testing, which can include an Amniocentesis.
Amniocentesis carries a chance of miscarriage, which is why most parents opt for the NIPT test first; to gain a stronger indication of the likelihood of their baby having Down’s, Edwards’ and Patau’s Syndromes. NIPT screening carries no risk to your baby whatsoever; it is a simple blood test taken from the mother, and results are ready within 5-7 working days.
NIPT testing is a great option if you have been identified as having a high chance of your baby having Down’s, Edwards’ or Patau’s Syndromes, but do not want to immediately have further invasive tests that could potentially endanger your baby. It’s also great if you simply want the option to screen for more conditions or to know the possible sex of your baby as soon as possible, to enable you to be prepared for whatever parenthood might bring your way.
The NHS do offer some women NIPT tests, however they are not able to provide them to everybody, and this is why many customers opt to take the test privately.
The Vision Test
What is it and what does it test for?
When a woman is pregnant, the baby’s DNA can be detected in her bloodstream. The NIPT test looks at the chromosomes within the baby’s DNA. This means it can detect likely chromosomal conditions. There are two levels of the Vision test available. The standard test looks for Down’s, Edwards’ and Patau’s syndromes, as well as giving parents the option to receive information about whether there are possibly any sex chromosome conditions present, and also whether the detected sex chromosomes means the baby is likely to be a XX (girl) or XY (boy).
You can upgrade to Vision Total which screens for aneuploidy for all chromosomal pairs). Please contact our team to discuss your options.
The earliest you can have a scan to check your baby’s sex is around 16 weeks. An NIPT test can be taken from as early as 10 weeks, with the results arriving just 5-7 working days later.
Having an NIPT test as part of your first scan appointment provides you with a more rounded introduction to your baby, with the earliest possible insight into what their sex is likely to be. The sex can then be confirmed with a gender scan (including our exclusive gender reveal lighting!) from 16 weeks of pregnancy.
How Does It Work?
It is important that we confirm that you are 10 weeks pregnant prior to carrying out the test, to ensure the results are valid. All Hey Baby NIPT services include a complimentary scan to confirm your gestational age.
Our experienced phlebotomist will then take one tube of blood from your arm and send it to the laboratory; the whole process takes less than 20 minutes. The laboratory will analyse the DNA to determine which belongs to you and which is from the placenta (baby’s DNA). We will then contact you with your results within 5-7 working days. There are upgrade options available where additional chromosomal differences can be tested for – please call us on 020 8154 0122 for more information.
What If The Test Finds Something?
If the test shows that any of the conditions may be present, then we will arrange for a Genetic Counsellor to contact you to discuss the results. Genetic Counsellors are specially trained professionals who will explain exactly what the results mean and talk through all the options available to you with total sensitivity and empathy.
N.B. Vision is a screening test and although false positive/negative results are rare, they can occur. Invasive testing methods would still be recommended for confirmation purposes.
How Much Does It Cost?
The Vision Test normally costs £495 when purchased directly. You can access this test through Hey Baby 4D for just £450, which includes a complimentary reassurance scan (which scan depends on the gestation of your pregnancy).
Finding Hey Baby 4D Wandsworth
Two tube stations are a short walk from the clinic, Balham and Tooting Bec on the Northern Line. Balham underground station is 5 minutes walk away.
The closest bus station is Upper Tooting Park Balham High (Stops J and H).To plan your walking route to the clinic from other locations, you can use Google maps or walkit.com, which allows you to search for the least polluted routes.
You can call us on 020 8154 0122 for any assistance with directions or parking.
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