Genetic screening (NIPT)

Genetic screening (NIPT)

Non-invasive pre-natal testing (NIPT) is an extremely reliable test that can accurately identify the risk of a baby having an increased chance of chromosomal conditions such as Down Syndrome. This blood test can be obtained anytime from 10 weeks gestation and is currently only available privately in New Zealand. The sample needs to be taken in our rooms and is sent to Australia for laboratory processing so we normally allow about 1 week for test results. 

What does NIPT look for? 

Non-invasive pre-natal testing uses cell-free fetal DNA (cfDNA) fragments to identify the risk of various chromosomal conditions.  NIPT screens for trisomies (having three instead of two chromosomes) such as Down syndrome (trisomy 21), Edwards syndrome (trisomy 18) and Patau syndrome (trisomy 13).  NIPT also screens for sex chromosomal disorders such as Turner syndrome.  


Can I have NIPT just to know the sex of my baby?

Yes.  NIPT is more than 99% accurate for identifying the genetic sex of your baby.  We do not recommend having this screening test purely for the purpose of identifying the sex of your baby though we are happy to talk about this further with you at your consultation.

Can I have NIPT without  Femina Baby looking after me for my whole pregnancy?

Yes, but we would encourage you to see one of our specialists for a one-off consultation before you have the test. We strongly feel NIPT should be available to all women in New Zealand but it is important to have had a thorough discussion about the test with an appropriate health care provider such as your LMC midwife or GP.  

How much does NIPT cost?

The cost is approximately $500 NZD (depending on current exchange rates) and you will be invoiced directly by the company in Australia who analyse the blood test. If you are under the care of Femina Baby for your pregnancy an administration fee of $50 NZD is also charged for taking the blood sample, completing the paperwork associated with the test and organising a courier. If you are not a patient with Femina Baby but would still like NIPT testing, the administrative charge is $100 NZD.