Harmony Prenatal Screening Test

The Harmony Prenatal screening is a non-invasive DNA-based prenatal blood screen where the fetal DNA within the mother’s blood is analysed. There is no increased risk to the pregnancy with the screening test, such as miscarriage. The test is used to screen for Downs syndrome, Edwards syndrome and Patau syndrome. Further screening can be done for the Sex Chromosome Aneuploidy Panel. The Harmony test can also screen for the sex chromosome, confirming your baby’s gender if you would like to know the sex of your baby

Harmony is more accurate than traditional tests, can be performed as early as 10 weeks in pregnancy, and results are generally 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. The test and scan cost £475.

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.

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What is the Harmony Prenatal Screening Test?

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:

  • Down syndrome (trisomy 21)
  • Edwards syndrome (trisomy 18)
  • Patau syndrome (trisomy 13)

What is included in the Harmony appointment?

The Harmony Prenatal Screening test and scan costs £475. It includes:

  • 45minute – 1hr appointment
  • A Viability / Early Pregnancy ultrasound scan and blood test
  • Confirmation of gender at no additional cost if desired
  • Further screening is available at no further cost for the Chromosome Aneuploidy Panel, this screening is for Turners syndrome, Triple X syndrome, Klinefelter’s syndrome and Jacobs syndrome
  • A follow-up telephone call to discuss the results

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.

Before or after your appointment, you can upgrade to the Harmony package which includes three additional scans you can have during your pregnancy (e.g gender, growth and wellbeing scans). The package costs £790 and represents a saving of £135 versus buying the scans individually.

For All Women

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 non-invasive DNA-based blood test that has been extensively tested in pregnant women both over and under 35.

A More Accurate Test

The conventional screening offered on the NHS, at approximately 12 weeks of pregnancy will detect approximately 70-80% of pregnancies with Down syndrome. The Harmony test detects over 99% and is offered between 10 weeks – 26 weeks of pregnancy.

Harmony has a false positive rate of less than 0.1% compared to 5% with conventional screening.

Clarity Early

Harmony screening requires a single blood sample taken from the mother’s arm and can be done as early as 10 weeks. The results will take approximately 7-10 working days to come back and the nurse will contact you once the results are available.

Minimises Follow-up Tests

Compared to the traditional tests, the greater accuracy and lower false high-risk results with the screening with Harmony reduces the number of high-risk results. Therefore, fewer women will require follow up testing using an invasive procedure, such as amniocentesis.

Fetal Sex Chromosomes

Harmony Prenatal screening can also be used to evaluate X(female) and Y(male) sex chromosomes as early as 10 weeks. You have the option to test for further genetic conditions caused by an extra or missing copy of the X or Y chromosomes, including Turner and Klinefelter syndromes. (This is only available for singleton pregnancies).

Does a low-risk result mean that the baby does not have Down syndrome?

Not necessarily. The Harmony Prenatal test is a screening tool and not a diagnostic tool but there is a risk that the screening result may give a ‘false negative’, however, the risk of this happening with Harmony is much lower than with conventional Down’s syndrome screening.

If I have a high-risk result does that mean that the baby’s chromosomes are abnormal?

No, not necessarily. It means that there is a higher risk and you will be referred to a screening midwife. They will discuss the options available to you which may include a further scan and amniocentesis to assess the chromosomes directly. You will be offered support and counselling to help you reach that decision.

What if I have twins?

The Harmony non-invasive prenatal screening and technology can be applied to twin pregnancies but is not suitable in the unfortunate event where a twin has not survived.

Will I always get a result?

Unfortunately, 3 out of 100 women will require a repeat blood test as the blood sample may not be able to be processed due to the complex quality control for these genetic tests or the sample may not contain enough fetal DNA for accurate analysis.

When a repeat sample is required approximately two-thirds of these samples will be processed successfully. Patients can have up to 3 blood tests at no extra cost in order to process the screening but no further screening will be offered if these are all unsuccessful.

How will I receive my results?

The nurse will call you when your results are available and discuss the screening results with you.

The results are usually available within 7-10 working days. We recommend you continue with all NHS screening offered to you and request that the Harmony screening results be shared with your midwife. Harmony screening is not considered a diagnostic test, if the results indicate a high risk you will be referred to a screening midwife for further screening.

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