What is non-invasive prenatal screening?

Non-invasive prenatal screening (NIPS) is a simple blood test that looks at all 23 pairs of your baby’s chromosomes from 10 weeks of pregnancy onwards. The screen can safely and reliably tell you if there is an increased chance your baby will have a chromosome related condition.  

The non-invasive prenatal screening service we provide is called Illumiscreen.

Illumiscreen is available for both single and twin pregnancies and can also identify the sex of your baby*. 

Results are usually reported back to your healthcare provider within 5-7 working days of the sample arriving at the testing laboratory in Auckland. We recommend discussing this screen with your healthcare provider.

* Sex chromosome information is included for single pregnancies. For twin pregnancies, only the presence of the Y chromosome is reported. See more information under ‘Learning the sex of your baby.

The difference between a screen and a diagnostic test

It is important to note that Illumiscreen is a highly reliable non-invasive prenatal screen, and not a diagnostic test. This means it does not provide you with a definite yes or no answer. It tells you if there is an increased chance your pregnancy has a chromosome related condition.

To confirm an increased chance result from this screen, a diagnostic test is needed. This requires either an amniocentesis procedure or chorionic villus sampling (CVS), however, the invasive nature of these procedures may pose a risk to your pregnancy. Your healthcare provider will be able to talk to you about these.