Screening and testing

Pregnant woman in childbirth. pregnant woman on reception at the doctor...We believe it is important you understand the test you are taking, what they can tell you and what choices you may have to make. It is particularly important that you understand the differences between screening tests and diagnostic tests. We know that this may be a difficult time but you should give yourself time, ask questions, seek further information where you feel you need it and ultimately make the decisions that feel right to you.

If you are pregnant and about to have, or are currently undertaking, pre-natal tests take a look at the NHS leaflet there is also an easy read version of this leaflet you can view this here.

Non-Invasive Prenatal Test (NIPT) NIPT is based on a maternal blood test. It analyses DNA fragments present in the maternal plasma during pregnancy. It can be carried out from 10 weeks of pregnancy.NIPT is a screening test, NOT a diagnostic test. An invasive test (amniocentesis or CVS) is still required to confirm a definitive diagnosis of Down’s syndrome. At present NIPT is not available on the NHS in Scotland. It is however available privately.


We welcome you to contact the Family Support Service and ask any questions about Down’s syndrome, big or small. We can provide you with factual and up to date information and won’t make judgements on you or your choices.