As an expectant parent, you probably want to do everything you can to prepare for parenthood. The Innatal™ Prenatal Screen checks for the most common chromosomal disorders, such as Down syndrome, that could affect your baby’s health. This noninvasive test requires only a blood draw, so it’s safe for both mother and baby.
How does the test work?
DNA is the blueprint of life—it carries all of the genetic information needed for our bodies to function. DNA is packaged into bundles called chromosomes. Healthy humans have 23 pairs of chromosomes. Any more or less can lead to problems.
This test looks at DNA from the pregnancy that crosses into the mother’s blood. A sample of your blood is drawn and the DNA is analyzed to check for the most common chromosomal disorders, which can cause serious birth defects, intellectual disability, or other health problems in the baby.
What to expect from non-invasive prenatal testing.
Why choose prenatal screening?
While most babies are born healthy, some will be born with a chromosomal disorder. Knowing your risks during pregnancy allows you to make the most informed choices for your family.
This information can help guide the management of your pregnancy, and could also give you critical time to prepare—physically, financially, and emotionally—for the birth of a child with extra needs.
Who is at risk?
Any baby can be born with a chromosomal disorder, which is usually caused by a random error of cell division very early in pregnancy. As women get older, the chance of having a baby with a chromosomal disorder goes up. However, young women can have babies with these conditions.
What conditions can this test detect?
- Down syndrome (trisomy 21) is caused by an extra copy of chromosome 21. The disorder is the most common genetic cause of intellectual disability, and it may also cause heart defects, other organ defects, and hearing or vision problems.
- Edwards syndrome (trisomy 18) is caused by an extra copy of chromosome 18. The disorder causes severe intellectual disability along with serious defects of the heart, brain and other organs. Babies with Edwards syndrome usually survive less than one year.
- Patau syndrome (trisomy 13) is caused by an extra copy of chromosome 13. The disorder causes severe intellectual disability and many serious birth defects. Babies with Patau syndrome usually survive less than one year.
- Turner syndrome (monosomy X)* is caused by a missing X chromosome in females. The disorder may cause heart defects, hearing problems, stunted growth, infertility and minor learning disabilities. Many pregnancies with Turner syndrome miscarry before delivery.
- Klinefelter syndrome (XXY)* is caused by an extra X chromosome in males. The disorder may cause delayed or absent puberty, learning difficulties and tall stature. Most males with Klinefelter syndrome are infertile.
- XYY syndrome or XXX syndrome* are caused by an extra Y chromosome in males (XYY) or an extra X chromosome in females (XXX). Individuals with these disorders may have tall stature and an increased risk for learning difficulties or delayed motor skills. Fertility is not usually affected and some individuals have no symptoms at all.
What does a negative result mean?
Most women receive negative results, which mean the baby is unlikely to be affected by the disorders that were tested.
What does a positive result mean?
A positive result indicates that the baby may have a chromosomal disorder, and a closer look at your pregnancy is needed. If you have a positive result, follow-up prenatal diagnostic tests, such as amniocentesis or CVS, will be offered to you. These tests can provide a definitive answer about whether your baby is affected by the disorder.
What are the test limitations?
No test is perfect. Even if your result is negative, there is always a small chance that your pregnancy could be affected by one of the disorders the test screens for. As with all screening tests, false positives can occur.
This test can only detect the specific chromosomal disorders tested. It doesn’t screen for all other disorders, birth defects, or health conditions that could be present in a pregnancy.
When can I be tested?
You can have the test at 10 weeks’ gestation, or any time after that.
Is this test required?
All testing is optional. The decision to accept or decline screening is a personal choice, and should be one you discuss with your healthcare provider.
Talk to your healthcare provider to find out if this test is right for you.
*May be included in the test. Cannot be evaluated in twin pregnancies.