Going into my second pregnancy after the birth of my daughter was always going to be daunting for me. This was because Adrienne, my first born, was diagnosed with Congenital Hypothyroidism at birth. Up until that point I was a bit oblivious and naive about any threats or challenges that may arise. I had a picture perfect pregnancy and a text book birth. So when her Newborn Screening came back with an irregularity I was quite overwhelmed, to say the least.
I don’t type all this to scare you – I only share this to give context to OUR decision and why we went with the Non-Invasive Prenatal Test and why I’ve partnered with Next Genetics to share more about the TriScreen.
So what exactly is NIPT and what is being tested for? The TriScreen Non-Invasive Prenatal Test (NIPT) is an accurate, early prenatal screen for Down syndrome and other common chromosomal conditions. The test only involves a simple blood draw from the pregnant mother and can be done from 10 weeks’ gestational age.
Your baby’s DNA is found in the mothers’ blood and NIPT is a fairly quick process to determine your specific risk factors. Your results will be unique to you, with your specific risk factors, and will be interpreted for you by your health practitioner and genetic counsellor. Here’s a more detailed breakdown:
TriScreen screens your pregnancy for the following chromosomal conditions:
- Down syndrome (Trisomy 21)
- Edwards syndrome (Trisomy 18)
- Patau syndrome (Trisomy 13)
- Sex chromosome conditions including Turner syndrome (Monosomy X) and Klinefelter syndrome (XXY)
- Option of all chromosome testing (as advised by your Healthcare Provider).
For me, the reason I decided on doing TriScreen NIPT with Next Genetics was for peace of mind. I wanted to go into my second pregnancy armed with as much information as is possible. The reasons for you might be completely different – but I do think they need to be considered. Ask yourself why you want to have this done. And also consider how you would react should certain results be found in your baby’s DNA.
I must add that the use of a Genetic Counsellor in this instance is a must and this is a service offered by Next Genetics. What is a Genetic Counsellor? Genetic counselling is the process of advising individuals and families affected by or at risk of genetic disorders to help them understand and adapt to the medical, psychological and familial implications of genetic contributions to disease. But before testing, a Genetic Counsellor can assist you in determining how you feel about this testing and process any thoughts regarding results that may surface.