From 1 April 2017 Dutch hospitals are allowed to visit the NIP test offering to all pregnant women. Through the NIP test (also called NIPT) blood is taken from the mother and the DNA of the unborn child is tested on the down syndrome. This test is more reliable than the well-known combination test that was normally used. NIPT can already be taken from the 11th week of pregnancy. The NIP test may now also be administered even if there is no medical indication for an increased risk of Down syndrome.
Combination test versus NIP test
Previously, Dutch pregnant women were allowed to take a combination test to find out whether the child has a congenital defect such as Down's syndrome. In a combination test, a neck fold measurement of the child is done (ultrasound) and a blood test. This test could already give a good indication of whether the child had Down. Approximately 85 of the 100 children with down were discovered and it was only done if there was reason for it.
The NIP text is more accurate and there is no risk of miscarriage. In this DNA test in blood, 96 out of 100 children with Down are detected. The test can also better detect Patient Syndrome and Edward's syndrome, although this is as yet less accurate than Down. Nevertheless, the results are always better than those of the combination test.
Subsidy scheme NIP test
From 2014, the NIP test was only offered as a trial to women who had already had a combination test. In these women it was already known that the child had a congenital defect. In this way the NIPT could be tested for reliability. The results of the trial period were so good that from 1 April the test can be offered to all pregnant women. Minister Schippers has made EUR 26 million available for this. This makes it possible to use the costs of the NIP test significantly lower to 'only' a personal contribution of 175 euros.
Where can you do the NIP test?
From 1 April 2017 a blood sample can be taken at 130 locations in the Netherlands. So ask yourself at the hospital in your neighborhood what the possibilities are. Probably you will certainly not be the only one who will take the test. Hospitals already expect a big rush.
It is expected that approximately 50% of all pregnant women will want to take the test.