Gender Blood Test at Doctors Office – Overview
The Non-Invasive Prenatal Test (NIPT) is a non-invasive type of blood test. This blood test is performed at the beginning of the 10 weeks of pregnancy.
This blood test helps screen the fetus for chromosomal disorders, such as Down syndrome and others. This test is also used to identify the gender of the unborn baby. The NIPT test is also called cell-free DNA screening or cfDNA for short.
What is Gender Blood Testing?
It is important to note that the NIPT is a screening test, so it should not be considered a definitive test.
In case experts detect any problem through NIPT, you may be advised to undergo advanced testing, such as amniocentesis or CVS to confirm the diagnosis.
This test is advised for pregnant women. Several healthcare providers offer it to all pregnant patients.
The exact cost of the NIPT test varies. Most insurance companies tend to include the complete cost, or part of the total cost, under their policy covers.
Some pathology labs can also use the NIPT screening results to screen for other conditions.
You can consult your genetic counselor or healthcare provider to know which conditions you may need to screen your unborn child for.
The NIPT screening results for some conditions are very accurate, but some tests may show higher inaccuracy.
What are the Benefits of Gender Blood Testing?
The NIPT screening is a simple process yet offers an incredible range of information. Some of the reasons why NIPT screening is so popular include:
#1. Non-invasive screening requires only a simple blood draw at a regular prenatal check-up
#2. Perfectly safe for mother and unborn child with no potential risks
#3. A Follow-up diagnostic may be required to confirm some screening results after NIPT
#4. Advisable during the early pregnancy stage – after 9 to 10 weeks of pregnancy
#5. Results are developed quickly, within a couple of weeks at the most
#6. This screening easily helps to identify the gender of the unborn child
How Conclusive is the Gender Blood Test at Doctors Office?
It is important to know that the NIPT is a screening test and not a diagnostic test. In simple terms, the NIPT results do not necessarily indicate accurately a chromosomal condition in the unborn child.
Hence, a normal NIPT result does not guarantee that your child is completely safe from chromosomal conditions.
However, the NIPT screening test is considerably accurate when identifying certain chromosomal conditions, such as Down syndrome. Some certain conditions and factors may also influence the accuracy of NIPT screening results, such as:
#1. Obesity (having a BMI of 30 or higher)
#2. Pregnancy through IVF technique
#3. Multiple pregnancies
#4. Blood-thinning medication
In case the doctor notices any abnormalities in a NIPT screening result, they may recommend additional tests, such as CVS to confirm the diagnosis.
How does the Gender Blood Test work?
The NIPT requires a simple blood draw. Your blood sample has been sent to a lab for analysis. The test calculates the DNA fragments from your placenta, which are circulating in your bloodstream.
This contains cells from you and the fetus. These DNA fragments are free-floating in your blood, they are also called cell-free DNA.
Doctors examine the chromosomes, which are the portion of cells that contain your genes. This examination can tell if your unborn child is showing the risk of developing chromosomal problems.
Normally, there are two copies of our chromosomes. In case, one of the pairs acquires an additional chromosome, it is called a Trisomy.
People suffering from Down syndrome have an additional copy of the chromosome 21 hence this condition is called Trisomy 21 in medical terms.
What does the Gender Blood Test Screen for?
The major conditions that NIPT screening is used to identify include:
#1. Down syndrome (Trisomy 21)
#2. Edwards syndrome (Trisomy 18)
#3. Patau syndrome (Trisomy 13)
#4. Turner or Klinefelter syndrome (common sex chromosome conditions)
Some labs may also offer to screen for a few other conditions, including:
#1. Trisomy 16
#2. Trisomy 22
#4. Sex chromosome aneuploidy
#5. Certain single-gene disorders
#6. Certain small chromosomal deletion disorders (microdeletion syndrome)
The gender blood test is an excellent way to determine the gender of an unborn child during the initial stages of pregnancy.
This test is also useful in identifying signs of potential chromosomal conditions in the fetus.
In case the doctor detects these signs after the NIPT screening, you may need to undergo additional testing to confirm the diagnosis.
This way, the doctor can recommend treatment procedures that may help alleviate the chromosomal problems.