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What is NIPT?

Non-Invasive Prenatal Testing (NIPT) is a quick and safe way to get more information about your baby’s health from as early as 10 weeks. NIPT is a screening test, which means that it can tell us if your baby is at higher probability of certain conditions such as Down’s syndrome.

Why this test?

  • Find out if your baby is at risk of chromosomal abnormalities
  • Screens for Down’s, Edward’s and Patau’s syndromes
  • Optional screening for sex chromosome conditions and other genetic abnormalities
  • A safe, non-invasive and very accurate blood test

What you will receive

  • A full report on your NIPT results
  • Complete ultrasound results

How Does NIPT Work?

NIPT works by detecting the tiny fragments of placental DNA that circulate in your bloodstream when you are pregnant. The placenta has exactly the same DNA as your baby, so it enables us to assess the risk of chromosomal abnormalities.

The three main conditions that we screen for are:

  • Down’s Syndrome
  • Edward’s Syndrome
  • Patau’s Syndrome

All three of these are caused by trisomy, which is when the baby has an extra copy of a particular chromosome. The Nuchal scan that you will have between 11 weeks 5 days and 13 weeks 5 days will also screen for these chromosomal abnormalities. However, NIPT is more accurate and can be performed earlier in the pregnancy. It can detect more than 99% of babies with Down’s syndrome, while the nuchal translucency test can only detect 84%.

We can also test for sex chromosome conditions and certain other abnormalities with NIPT. Your consultant can help you decide which tests are appropriate for you. Anyone can have NIPT, even during twin, IVF, donor or surrogate pregnancies. However, it is particularly important if you are at higher probability of chromosomal abnormalities, for example if you are older parents.

What to Expect

  • We offer the Panorama, Harmony and SAFE tests in Cheshire from just 10 weeks. There is no upper time limit, but we recommend arranging your NIPT before the nuchal scan.
  • We will perform an ultrasound scan to check that you and your baby are doing well before the test.
  • NIPT is performed like any other blood test. We’ll just take a small sample, usually from a blood vessel near the inside of your elbow.
  • The results of the Harmony and SAFE tests should be back in 3-7 days. The Panorama test can take a little longer, but your results should be available in 9-14 days.
  • You will get a complete report on your NIPT results that tells you if your baby is at risk of each type of chromosomal abnormality. A low risk result means your baby is very unlikely to be affected. A high risk result suggests there could be an abnormality. You will be able to discuss the results and what they mean with one of our experts.

Arranging NIPT

We offer three different types of NIPT at our clinic in Cheshire: the SAFE, Panorama and Harmony tests. Get in touch if you need advice on which one is right for you or make your NIPT appointment in Cheshire through our simple online booking system.


Please note in the circumstance that during your appointment an ultrasound scan is performed but we do not proceed to the NIPT, a fee of £120 (£180 for evening/weekend appointments) will be charged for the appointment only. If booked online, £380 will be refunded to you.

Please note Anticoagulation therapy (blood thinners such as Clexane) can increase the possibility of receiving No Result for your NIPT. Please leave as long between administering your dose and your NIPT appointment as possible. For example, if you administer in the evening and have an early morning appointment, either change to an appointment late in the day, or refrain from your evening dose. If you administer in the morning, refrain from that dose until after your appointment. If you have any queries regarding this, please contact our team admin@thebirthcompany.co.uk.

For further information please see below:
Anticoagulation Therapy Publication

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Clinic Locations

Visit our clinic in Central London and Cheshire


137 Harley Street, London W1G 6BF
Nearest Underground Tube Stations

Baker Street
Regent’s Park
Great Portland Street


Alderley Edge Medical Centre, Talbot Road, Alderley Edge, Cheshire, SK9 7HR
Nearest Overground Train Station

Alderley Edge