NIPD is a new type of genetic test that screens for birth defects and inherited diseases. Right now, it's only available to women with high-risk pregnancies. Many experts think that it will become a standard test someday, replacing other, riskier screening tests.
Up until now, the only way to check your baby's DNA was to take a direct sample of your baby's amniotic fluid, blood or placental tissue. You would need amniocentesis or CVS. Both have a small risk of causing miscarriage or complications.
NIPD takes a different approach. It tests the small amount of your baby's DNA that's naturally found in your own blood. NIPD can check it for birth defects such as Down syndrome, trisomy 14 and 18, as well as inherited diseases such as cystic fibrosis, hemophilia, and other conditions. It can also show whether your baby is a boy or a girl.
NIPD is much more accurate than similar screening tests with nuchal translucency, such as the blood test in the first trimester screening or the quad test. Because the results seem to be so accurate, the test could spare many women from invasive procedures, such as amniocentesis or CVS.