The IONA® Screening Test

The IONA® test is a safe non-invasive and accurate screening test for Downs Syndrome, Edwards’ Syndrome and Patau’s Syndrome.  We can offer this test at home to anyone who has had a scan to date the pregnancy.  The ideal time is around 10 weeks.  The test is more accurate than the standard combined test offered by the NHS as it uses DNA from the baby found in the mother’s blood to assess risk which the combined test does not.


What is involved?

Prior to the test it is important you have had an ultrasound scan to accurately date the pregnancy.  This can be done via the NHS or we can arrange a private scan for you.  We advise the test is done from 10 weeks of pregnancy.  Prior to the test your midwife will talk to you about screening and what the implications are.  You will be asked to sign a consent form.  When you are happy to proceed, a blood sample is obtained by your midwife.  The test is analysed at a local laboratory in Manchester and we expect a result in approximately five days.  The IONA® test is a safe test which does not involve any risk of harm or miscarriage.  The accuracy is greater than 99% but as is advised with all screening tests, a high risk result will require further diagnostic tests which we will help arrange for you should they be necessary.  The IONA test can also inform you of the sex of the baby should you wish.

The Midwife Company is unique as we can come to you to take the test in your own home at a time to suit you. Some geographical restrictions may apply but please contact us for more information.

Some hospitals are providing in-house NIPT screening for ladies who achieve a high risk result on the NHS provided Combined Test or Quad test (high risk being less than 1:150).  At present these tests are payable to the Trust at approximately £420.00. Despite currently being chargeable (it is hoped the test will be free for ladies with high risk NHS results by the end of the year) many hospitals are also not offering gender tests for their in-house screening. The Midwife Company also hand delivers all samples – meaning the quickest possible turnaround of results as we don’t rely on courier or Royal Mail for delivery. We also offer great flexibility with evening and weekend appointments.