Why choose The Birth Company for your Harmony Test?
- 30 - 45 minutes per appointment
- Evening and Saturday appointments available
- Results normally in 5 days
- Detailed ultrasound scan included
- iBabyScan included
(Evening appointments carry a £30 surcharge)
Call 020 7725 0528 to book
Saturday Harmony Clinic
9:00am - 4:00pm
Sunday Harmony Clinic
10:00am - 2:00pm
Appointments last up to 45 minutes including a detailed ultrasound scan.
Full payment applicable on booking.
Harmony Test Key Points
Available after 10 weeks
>99% T21 (Down’s Syndrome)
>97.4% T18 (Edwards Syndrome)
>93.8% T13 (Patau’s Syndrome)
Twin Sensitivity reduced to 90%.
Optional fetal gender determination >99.9%
Results in 3-7 calendar days
Less than 0.1% false positive rate
You do not need a referral for any services performed by the Birth Company.
Using our services will not affect your right to NHS care.
The reports and scans we perform are often more comprehensive than NHS equivalent and will be accepted by NHS midwives and consultants. On the rare occasion that it is necessary, and only with your permission, we are also able to discuss your case with your primary caregiver.
For further information, please contact us
Harmony Results in 5 days
If you need your results quickly, we can offer Harmony test, the usual turnaround time for this is 5 working days.
The Harmony Prenatal Test
What is the Harmony test?
It has been discovered that a blood sample taken from the mother at any time from early pregnancy can be analysed for cell free fetal DNA, which is essentially a marker in the mother’s blood of the DNA of the baby. The result of the simple blood test (Harmony), taken at 10 weeks or later has a detection rate of more than 99% in Downs syndrome, 97.4% of Edwards syndrome and 93.8% of Patau’s syndrome, with a false positive rate of less than 0.1% which will hugely reduce the need for invasive testing by CVS or amniocentesis. This is great news for couples because it eliminates the risk of miscarriage of the pregnancy. It is important that an ultrasound scan is performed just before the blood test to confirm the pregnancy, and to check that the mother is not carrying twins or more. The Harmony test can be used to check twins with a detection rate of 90% and can now be used if the pregnancy is conceived with donated egg.
Why the Harmony test?
This is now one of the most accurate non invasive tests to detect the chance of a chromosomal abnormality in a pregnancy (Positive predictive value 'PPV' greater than 99% for Downs Syndrome).
For the last ten years doctors have been using the results of the Nuchal Translucency Scan to advise pregnant women and their partners on their risk of having a baby with Downs syndrome, or other abnormalities. The Nuchal Translucency Scan looks at the skin fold on the back of the baby’s neck at about 12 weeks. This has been further refined by looking at the nose bone of the baby with an additional blood test to identify two pregnancy hormones. This is the combined test and has achieved a predictive value of about 84%. Women with a high risk have an option to proceed to chorion villous sampling (CVS) or amniocentesis. These are invasive tests that carry a miscarriage risk of about 1:100. This is changing. The Harmony blood test has become available.
Who needs Harmony Test?
Anyone who wants extra reassurance about the normality of the pregnancy can have the test. Women who may need it are those who are anxious about their baby having a chromosomal abnormality such as Downs, Edwards or Patau's syndrome, Older women (particularly over 40 years) and those who have already had a chromosomally abnormal pregnancy often opt for the test. Those who are at particular risk of miscarriage should they have an amniocentesis or chorionic villous sample also find the test very attractive as it avoids an invasive procedure. It is helpful for those who have had a previous sex chromosome abnormality such as Turners syndrome.
How is the test done?
- The mother has to read and sign a consent form and sign a form for data release.
- An ultrasound scan is always done first.
- This is a simple blood test from the vein in the woman's arm like any other blood test. There is no risk from having the test.
- Two tubes need to be fully filled.
- The tubes are immediately packaged and sent to The Doctors Laboratory in London improving turn around time.
How long does it take to get a result?
The result is available within 3-10 days, the normal turnaround time is 5 days. There is a 5% chance that insufficient DNA is obtained. This is not a positive or negative test: it is an unsuccessful test. An offer of a repeat test is made free of charge. This is usually successful. In rare circumstances the result can take longer than 7 days. We understand it can be a stressful time waiting for results and we will endevour to communicate any delays to our patients as soon as we receive information from the laboratory.
How is the result expressed?
The result is expressed as a probability. It is a screening test and not a diagnostic test. A result form of a low risk test is shown below. A low risk test result gives a risk of a chromosomal problem of less than 1:10000. A high risk result gives a risk of greater than 99%. A high risk result does not confirm that the baby has the chromosome abnormality. An amniocentesis or chorionic villous sampling is necessary to give a diagnosis. The couple are counselled about this.
> Example 1
> Example 2
How much does it cost?
The test is currently £500 including the ultrasound scan when done on a weekday. Appointments after 5.00pm will carry a £30 surcharge. If you would like to come in on a Saturday or Sunday the cost is £550.
What happens after the test?
Depending on how many weeks pregnant you are, you will still have the opportunity to have a 12 week scan privately or with the NHS. The focus of the 12 week scan will change as you will already have the result of the Downs syndrome test, so the 12 week scan will look at the baby in detail for structural abnormalities (these may exist without a chromosomal abnormality). You will still have the opportunity to have the later scans, such as the 20 weeks scan, as before. If the Harmony test is low risk then it is important that the person conducting the 12 week scan is aware of this. If the test is high risk then you should return to The Birth Company or a good NHS unit for further counselling.
Are there problems this test will not detect?
Yes. Structural abnormalities such as Spina Bifida, heart defects and a poorly growing baby will only be seen on scans and often not until later scans. These scans should still be undertaken.
This new test has been developed by Ariosa Diagnostics www.ariosadx.com and is quality controlled by Ariosa Diagnostics.