Expectations Ultrasound

Non-Invasive Prenatal Testing


What is NIPT?

Non-invasive prenatal testing (NIPT) analyses cell-free DNA circulating in the pregnant mother's blood. It is a new option in prenatal screening for Down syndrome (trisomy 21) and other common chromosomal conditions (trisomies 18 and 13), X and Y chromosome conditions. This test can be requested for any singleton or twin pregnancy, including those conceived naturally or by IVF using the patient's own egg or a donor egg.

Please note however, that sex chromosome (X and Y) analysis is not available for twin pregnancies.

What is the difference between a Harmony or Serenity test and NIPT?

Harmony and Serenity are the names that the different testing laboratories we use call the Non Invasive Prenatal Test. They are broadly the same test and which laboratory is used for your NIPT can be discussed further at your appointment.

When can the test be performed?

The Non-Invasive Prenatal Test can be ordered for women with pregnancies of at least 10 weeks' gestational age.

What does the test involve?

The test will involve the taking of a blood sample that needs to be sent away for testing. Prior to the taking of blood a dating scan will be carried out to ensure that the foetus is at least 10 weeks gestational age.

What is the risk?

The testing is non-invasive and therefore poses a minimal risk to mother or baby: it involves taking a small blood sample from the mother. The pregnancy is not put at risk of miscarriage, or from other adverse outcomes that are associated with invasive testing procedures such as amniocentesis.

Who will be testing the blood sample?

Testing is performed either by Genesis Genetics UK, or by TDL. The laboratories are based in the UK ensuring the results are returned faster than other NIPT providers who send the sample abroad for analysis. Genesis Genetics NIPT service which is called Genesis Serenity, uses the Illumina Verifi technology and TDL test using the Harmony process from Ariosa

How long before I get the results of my Non Invasive Prenatal Test?

Testing will be performed by a UK laboratory and results usually take around one week to be returned to us.

How accurate is the Non-Invasive Prenatal Test?

No biological test can be 100% accurate, but a recent clinical study showed that the false positive rate for chromosome 13, 18 and 21 aneuploidy was 0.2% and false negative rate was 0.026%. More information on the accuracy can be found HERE.

Is NIPT right for me?

Further information on NIPT can be found from websites such as ARC, Antinatal Relults and Choices which is a registered charity which offers support to parents before, during and after antenatal screening.

A video produced by Illumina, the company behind the Verifi technology, discussing NIPT can be found HERE.

Ariosa have also produced a video about their Harmony NIPT that can be found HERE

Feel free to call and discuss if NIPT testing is the right choice for you. Our contact details can be found on the Contact Us page.

How much will the NIPT cost?

Our current prices can be found on the Fees page. 

Where can I find out more about the NIPT?

If you would like to discuss any aspect of the Non-Invasive Prenatal Test or to book an appointment you can telephone us on 01237 423393 or contact us via the details on the contact us page.