Non-Invasive Prenatal Testing – When Should You Consider This?

Non-Invasive Prenatal Testing…..Let us return to our review of non-invasive prenatal testing for abnormalities of the fetal chromosomes.

…..This testing is supported by the professional societies, including the American College of Obstetrics and Gynecology.  It is not a testing program that is offered to all pregnant women at this time, and there are certain indications for considering this program.  Now in what circumstances should it be considered?  Here are some:

  • If the mother’s age will be 35 years or older at the baby’s birth
  • Abnormal sonographic findings of the fetus that may point to an increased risk of fetal chromosome abnormalities
  • History of a past pregnancy with chromosomal abnormalities
  • Abnormal testing results in the current pregnancy that suggest chromosomal problems

…..The testing is a simple blood test of the mother, and it can be taken in the first or second trimester and as early as 10 weeks gestation.  It does not replace chorionic villus sampling (CVS) or amniocentesis, and these are the tests to consider if there is a positive non-invasive test result.

…..If there is a positive result, genetic counseling is the next step, and probably the invasive tests will be offered.  Also, remember that this test is intended to detect trisomy 21, 18, and 13, and to give information about the X and Y chromosome.  It does not eliminate the chance of other chromosome problems that may be present.

-Dr. P

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