The Harmony Prenatal screening is a non-invasive DNA-based prenatal blood screen. The test is used to screen for Downs syndrome, Edwards syndrome and Patau syndrome. The Harmony test can also screen for the sex chromosome, confirming your baby’s gender if required.
Harmony is more accurate than traditional tests, can be performed as early as 10 weeks in pregnancy, and results come back within 7 – 10 working days.
Appointments are 45 minutes to an hour long and include a viability scan and a blood test from the mother’s arm.
Some genetic conditions run in families while others, like Down’s Syndrome, typically do not. They can happen in any pregnancy. Although the risk of Down’s syndrome increases with age, most babies born with Down’s syndrome are born to women under 35.
When you’re pregnant, your blood contains fragments of your baby’s DNA. The Harmony test is a type of test that analyses this DNA in a sample of your blood to assess the risk of:
Please note, should you need to cancel your appointment or following the viability ultrasound scan, your blood test is not required, you will be refunded accordingly.
Traditional screening tests can miss as many as 15% of Down’s syndrome cases in pregnant women. Harmony screening was developed to be a more accurate prenatal Down’s Syndrome test for all women, regardless of age or risk. It is a new non-invasive DNA-based blood test that has been extensively tested in pregnant women both over and under 35.
The conventional screening will detect approximately 70-80% of pregnancies with Down syndrome. The Harmony test will detect over 99%.
Harmony has a false positive rate of less than 0.1% compared to 5% with conventional screening. This means that the Harmony screening detects more pregnancies with Down syndrome and reduces the risk of unnecessary amniocentesis.
Harmony screening requires a single blood sample from the mother’s arm and can be done as early as 10 weeks or later in pregnancy. The results will take between 7-10 working days to come through. Other commonly used tests for Down syndrome are performed later in pregnancy and require multiple clinic visits.
Compared to the traditional tests, the greater accuracy and low false-positive Harmony rate minimise the number of high-risk results. Therefore fewer women will require to follow up testing using an invasive procedure, such as amniocentesis.
Harmony Prenatal screening can also be used to evaluate X and Y sex chromosomes as early as 10 weeks. You have the option to test for conditions caused by having an extra or missing copy of the X or Y chromosomes, including Turner and Klinefelter syndromes. (This is only available for singleton pregnancies).
Not necessarily. Any test carries a risk of a ‘false negative’; however, the risk of this happening with Harmony is much lower than with conventional Down’s syndrome screening.
No, not necessarily. It means that there is a higher risk and you will be offered the option of amniocentesis to assess the chromosomes directly. You will be offered support and counselling to help you reach that decision.
The Harmony non-invasive prenatal screening and technology can also be applied to twin pregnancies but is not suitable in a vanishing twin.
3 out of 100 women will require a repeat test. We receive a result in approximately two-thirds of these samples. Patients will not be charged if we are unable to obtain a result.
You will receive the results within 7 -10 working days of your blood test. The test result will give you a clear answer of there is a risk of having any of the genetic conditions included in your pregnancy. All results will be given to you by the clinic and will be interpreted in the context of your medical details and family history. Regardless of the results, we recommend continuing with your usual ultrasound scan appointments before and after testing.
Non-invasive prenatal testing based on cell-free DNA analysis is not considered diagnostic.