Noninvasive prenatal screening (NIPS)

Our approach

Prenatal genetic testing can cause some uncertainties. At Northwell, we will put your mind at ease with our thorough explanations, trustworthy recommendations and unwavering compassion. 

Overview

If you are nearing week nine of your pregnancy, your physician may recommend taking a sample of blood for noninvasive prenatal screening (NIPS). The blood sample is then analyzed for fetal DNA, which enter your blood stream through the placenta. This test can be performed as early as nine weeks of pregnancy, until delivery.

NIPS is used to test for many kinds of common chromosomal abnormalities, including Down syndrome and Trisomy 18. The test can also determine the sex of your baby.

NIPS can only be used for screening purposes, meaning the results are not definitive. In rare cases, false positives, false negatives and uninterpretable results can happen.

Reasons for a NIPS

Your physician may recommend a NIPS if you have a high-risk pregnancy, or are at an increased risk of having a baby with a chromosomal disorder or genetic disease. Any woman may choose to have NIPS as a screening strategy for common aneuploidies, regardless of her risk status.

What to expect after a NIPT

Your results will be ready in one to two weeks. Because it is a screening test, there is also a small chance of receiving inaccurate or inconclusive results. If additional tests are needed to clarify results, your doctor will walk through your options and potential next steps. In most cases, your physician will be able to tell you the sex of the baby and the likelihood of chromosomal abnormalities.