Genetics Northern California

Non-Invasive Prenatal Testing

Non-invasive prenatal testing (NIPT) is a screening test to look for certain chromosome conditions in a developing baby. This test is also called cell-free DNA (cfDNA) screening.  

This is a blood test for the pregnant person.  The test looks at tiny fragments of fetal DNA found in the blood during pregnancy. NIPT can be done at 10 weeks or later in pregnancy. 

The test is used to look for birth defects caused by too many or too few chromosomes. It screens for: Down syndrome, trisomy 18, trisomy 13, Turner syndrome, Klinefelter syndrome, XXX syndrome, and XYY syndrome.
It does not screen for any other chromosome conditions or other birth defects. 

A negative result means the baby is unlikely to have any of the conditions this test looks for. 
If this screening test is positive, it means there is a chance the baby has a chromosome condition. More testing is offered to find out for sure. 

Sometimes NIPT does not give a result. When this happens, the test may be done a second time. 

NIPT video


Last reviewed: February 2022
Reviewed by:   Kimberly Barr, LCGC       
                      Kaiser Permanente NCAL Regional Genetics