Q&A: What is non-invasive prenatal testing (NIPT)?

What is the NIPT test and when is it done? | Mum's Grapevine

Gone are the days of waiting until 20 weeks to find out the gender of your bub, thanks to the NIPT test you’re able to find out if you’re expecting a boy or a girl at just 10 weeks of pregnancy.

Non-invasive prenatal testing or NIPT, has been around for about eight years, and is able to tell you not just the sex of your baby, but detect for certain abnormalities at a really early stage of pregnancy.

What is Non-invasive Prenatal Testing?

What is the NIPT test and how much does it cost? | Mum's Grapevine

Non-invasive prenatal testing, commonly known as NIPT, is a way of testing a fetus’s DNA through a mother’s blood. It can detect for the presence of certain chromosomal abnormalities such as Down syndrome, Edwards syndrome, Patau syndrome, Turner syndrome and also reveal the baby’s gender.

In simple terms, it’s a routine blood test so the screening is safe and poses no threat to your pregnancy. The blood sample collected will identify whether there is a Y chromosome present. If there is, you are expecting a bouncing baby boy. If there isn’t, start buying up big in pink.

When is NIPT done?

It is usually recommended between 10 and 13 weeks gestation. Prior to 10 weeks, the amount of baby’s DNA in your blood can be insufficient for the test. Once the test is done, your doctor should receive the result in just 3-5 days. It takes longer to post a letter!

How reliable is a NIPT test?

Most sources say NIPT has greater than 99% accuracy. So pretty accurate.

What does NIPT cost?

NIPT is optional and not covered by Medicare or private health insurance so it is an out of pocket cost. In Australia, the cost is usually between $400 and $550 and you will require a referral from your GP or obstetrician.

So if you just can’t wait to paint the nursery pink or blue, or are keen to cut your potential baby names list in half, ask your GP or obstetrician about NIPT.


Read next …

Pregnancy brings with it lots of tests to ensure mum and baby are as healthy as can be. To help you stay informed, here are a few articles that you might like to read next: