Non-Invasive Prenatal Diagnosis (NIPD)

Medically Reviewed by Traci C. Johnson, MD on June 09, 2023
2 min read

NIPD is a new type of genetic test that screens for birth defects and inherited diseases.  Many experts think that it will become a standard test someday, replacing other, riskier screening tests.

Up until a few years ago, the only way to check your baby's DNA was to take a direct sample of your baby's amniotic fluid, blood or placental tissue. You would need amniocentesis or CVS. Both have a small risk of causing miscarriage or complications.

NIPD takes a different approach. It tests the small amount of your baby's DNA that's naturally found in your own blood. NIPD can check it for birth defects such as Down syndrome, trisomy 13 and 18, as well as inherited diseases such as cystic fibrosis, hemophilia, and other conditions. It can also show whether your baby is a boy or a girl.

NIPD is much more accurate than similar screening tests with nuchal translucency, such as the blood test in the first trimester screening or the quad test. Because the results seem to be so accurate, the test could spare many women from invasive procedures, such as amniocentesis or CVS.

NIPD is a simple blood test. There's no risk to you or your baby. A technician will draw a small sample of blood from your arm.

If your NIPD is negative, your baby has a low risk of these birth defects. If it's positive, your doctor may recommend further tests. These could include ultrasounds, CVS, or amniocentesis.

Once, between 10 and 22 weeks of pregnancy, but it's available any time after 9 weeks depending on the lab. The test is available to all women, but routinely covered by insurance for women 35 years or older and women at high risk for genetic abnormalities.

Cell-free fetal DNA in the maternal circulation, fetal DNA testing

Triple screen, quad screen, 1st trimester screening