Everything you need to know about the NIP test

The Non-Invasive Prenatal Test (NIPT) is a prenatal screening that can be conducted during pregnancy to determine if your baby has Down syndrome. There are many misunderstandings about this test. Is it safe? Is its result 100% reliable? And how much does it cost? KidsLife sheds some light on these questions.

What is the NIPT?

The NIPT, or Non-Invasive Prenatal Testing (also known as NIPT in English), is a screening test that analyses foetal DNA circulating in the mother's blood.

  • It is used to detect chromosomal abnormalities in the foetus, such as trisomy 21 (Down syndrome), trisomy 18, and trisomy 13. 
  • The test can also identify other chromosomal abnormalities and syndromes, as well as certain cancers in the mother. For more information :
    visit UZLeuven 
  • For the curious ones, the NIPT also allows you to know the baby's sex.
How and when is the test conducted?

How and when is the test conducted?

The test is performed through a simple blood draw, usually from the 12th week of pregnancy. This blood sample is then analysed to detect foetal DNA.

This allows the identification of chromosomal abnormalities early in the pregnancy, giving parents more time to make informed decisions.

The results are typically known within 7 to 10 days.

Is the test safe?

Yes, the NIPT is extremely safe. Unlike invasive tests (such as chorionic villus sampling or amniocentesis), the NIPT carries no risk of miscarriage.

 

Is the test accurate?

The NIPT is very accurate, with a detection rate of over 99% for trisomy 21 (Down syndrome). However, it is important to note that it is a screening test, not a diagnostic test. There is a low rate of false positives, meaning that a positive result must be confirmed by an invasive diagnostic test for absolute certainty.

How much does the NIPT cost?

The test is almost entirely reimbursed!

You will need to pay €8.68. It's free if you are eligible for an increased intervention.

You will pay around 260 EUR depending on the centre.

 

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