Noninvasive Prenatal Screening

Pregnant woman getting blood drawn

Prenatal genetic screening can offer soon-to-be parents and those considering parenthood information about the chance of passing on certain conditions to their child, allowing women and their partners to make informed decisions about planning their family, pregnancy management, and future child-rearing. A variety of tools and methods are available for prenatal screenings — all with a goal of gaining insight into the potential outcome of certain genetic conditions.

Noninvasive prenatal screening (NIPS) assesses risk for a chromosomal aneuploidy – when there are extra or missing chromosomes in fetal DNA. The most common conditions screened through NIPS are Down Syndrome, Edwards Syndrome, and Turner Syndrome. The procedure takes a blood sample from a pregnant mother to examine cell-free DNA from the placenta that circulates in the mother’s blood.

Noninvasive Prenatal Screening is part of the SWHR Maternal Health Network, which engages the following focus areas: Expanded Carrier Screening, Fertility, Maternal & Infant Health Disparities, and Noninvasive Prenatal Screening.

Program Goals

  • Address the impact of NIPS on maternal and infant health
    Review the science and health care landscape concerning genetic screening and explore the best means to develop clinical guidelines and strategies for increased implementation of NIPS
  • Identify opportunities to leverage innovation and increase access and improve health equity for genetic screening
  • Promote science-based health care policies around genetic screening to reduce disparities and improve maternal and infant health outcomes
  • Develop materials to expand education and raise awareness about prenatal genetic screening among women, health care providers, and policy stakeholders

Facts about Noninvasive Prenatal Screening

NIPS can be performed

10 weeks

into pregnancy


sensitivity and specificity for NIPS to screen for risk of chromosomal abnormalities


of insured patients in the United States receive coverage for NIPS regardless of risk

More about Noninvasive Prenatal Screening