Noninvasive prenatal screening tests extract maternal and fetal DNA from a sample of a pregnant woman’s blood. The test screens for the most common chromosomal abnormalities, which can cause serious birth defects, intellectual disability, or other health problems. These disorders are usually caused by a random error during formation of the egg or sperm, or during the earliest stages of the baby’s development.
This test will also tell you the sex of the baby if you want to know. You can have the test at ten weeks of gestation, or any time after that.
Noninvasive prenatal screening tests are more sensitive and specific than traditional first and second trimester AFP screening and can often help women who have certain risk factors avoid invasive testing like amniocentesis and chorionic villus sampling. These tests do have limitations in that they are not always accurate and are less effective if you are: pregnant with multiples (twins), obese, pregnant via a donor egg, pregnant and a surrogate, or less than 10 weeks pregnant.
Chromosomal abnormalities can’t be corrected. If your baby is diagnosed with a chromosomal abnormality, you’ll need to decide what steps to take during pregnancy and how to take care of your baby after he or she is born.
If you are interested in this screening test, ask us to check your health insurance to see if the cost is covered.