Everything you need to know about the NIP test
The NIP test, or NIPT for short, is a test that can be taken during pregnancy to determine whether your baby has Down's syndrome. There are numerous misconceptions surrounding this test. Is it safe? Does it provide 100 percent certainty? And how much does it cost? Six questions, six answers.
What is the NIPT?
NIPT stands for ‘non-invasive prenatal test.’ The NIPT is a screening test that examines whether your baby has an increased risk of Down's syndrome, Edwards' syndrome or Patau's syndrome. It can also detect a number of other DNA abnormalities.
How is the NIP test performed?
The test is performed via a simple blood draw, and does not require a puncture. Your baby's DNA enters your blood via the placenta, enabling a DNA analysis to be performed from a blood sample.
Is the NIP test safe?
The test is non-invasive. This means that a puncture is not required. A simple blood draw is sufficient. Therefore, in contrast to an amniocentesis, the NIP test is completely safe and does not pose any risk to you or your baby.
Is the NIP test accurate?
The NIP test is extremely accurate. It detects a minimum of 99 out of every 100 babies with Down's syndrome.
Has your NIP test come back positive? Then your gynaecologist will recommend an amniocentesis, for absolute certainty. Less than 1% of the tests are false positive.
When is the NIPT performed?
Your doctor can perform the NIP test during the twelfth week of your pregnancy. You will get the result approximately three weeks later.
How much does the NIP test cost?
Your health insurance fund will refund the test in full. The test costs 260 euros. You only need to pay the non-refundable portion of this amount (8.68 euros).