Please explain Harmony and other tests

(24 Posts)
user1472662726 Wed 31-Aug-16 18:10:22

Hi
I've name changed for this.

I'm 42, just, with two DC. Just found out I'm pregnant and I'm petrified that due to my age there will be a problem.

I've read a bit about harmony but I've also heard other tests mentioned and my head is swimming and I can't think straight.

Can someone give me advice on these please? I can pay, when can they be done? I think I'm between 6 and 8 weeks.

I'm also confused by the probability results. Ive seen other threads where people say the results were conclusive and negative.... How?

Also, if we needed to go down the cvs/ amnio route how early can they be done?

Also, is the baby at risk of numerous other conditions due to my age? I was 42 in July and am healthy and have had two normal pregnancies.

Thanks for your help. I hope this is clear, I'm so anxious.

NameChange30 Wed 31-Aug-16 18:17:43

I know this is easier said than done but try not to panic.

There are lots of factors that will affect the health of your baby, and age is just one. Your baby might well be absolutely fine.

Here is some information about the Harmony test and other non-invasive prenatal testing:
www.arc-uk.org/tests-explained/non-invasive-prenatal-testing-nipt

These tests are only available privately and not on the NHS. So you might decide to have screening tests first, and then if your results come back as high risk, you could then decide whether to have amnio, CVS or NIPT. The ARC website has advice about all the screening and diagnostic tests.

NameChange30 Wed 31-Aug-16 18:18:56

The website has information, I should say, not advice. But they do have a helpline you can call if you want advice.

user1472662726 Wed 31-Aug-16 18:21:15

Thanks name change. To be honest I'm totally panicking, can't think straight.

NameChange30 Wed 31-Aug-16 18:22:35

Deep breaths.
Is there anyone you could talk to who would help you to feel calmer? Partner, best friend?

user1472662726 Thu 01-Sep-16 09:47:57

Thanks name change. Yes my husband is really supportive but I need to understand the facts and practicalities of what we might be facing. With my previous two pregnancies I felt dreadful till about 20 weeks, which is how I'm feeling now and it's clouding my judgement.

VamonosPest Thu 01-Sep-16 19:28:08

Hope you are feeling a little calmer now user. I have just had the harmony test after a high risk result from the NHS screening at 13 weeks. This is also DC3 for me. I am a little younger than you but age was a factor for me. I didn't know about the harmony test before I started researching CVS, amnio and non invasive alternatives. If I had known of it I would have booked in for one at 10 weeks (that is the earliest you can have them I think) to either put my mind at rest or know about any potential issue as early as possible.

NameChange30 Thu 01-Sep-16 21:44:25

OP, there is a really good chapter on pre-natal testing in the book "Expecting Better" by Emily Oster. If you can get a copy on Kindle or from the library it would be well worth a read.

user1472662726 Fri 02-Sep-16 22:48:38

Thanks for taking the time to reply name change and vamonos. Have been furiously googling older mothers to reassure myself and playing a mental game of things that are more likely to happen than the baby be unwell......so not exactly calmer but trying to see if can work out ok.

user1472662726 Fri 02-Sep-16 22:49:11

Should have read it can work out ok

finova Sun 04-Sep-16 18:23:16

This site has info on a range of tests, they recommended serenity to me as fastest turn around as lab is in UK.
www.thisismy.co.uk

user1472662726 Tue 06-Sep-16 16:09:29

Thanks finova. Thanks also namechange..... I got the book from the library and found that chapter really helpful in explaining the tests/ probability issues.

NameChange30 Tue 06-Sep-16 16:22:30

Glad you found it helpful.
Have you decided what (if any) tests to do yet? No pressure if you haven't, just wondering!

user1472662726 Tue 06-Sep-16 16:26:40

Hi name change.
I definitely want tests. Im not someone who deals with uncertainty well (you may have noticed!)
But one thing the book has thrown up is that cvs is much safer than the stats thrown around, it can be done at ten weeks and the result is available in days. Because of this I'm wondering if I should go straight for this? As I'd have an answer v soon (albeit with a 1/600 risk of miscarriage).

But if it was that simple more people would do it right?

user1472662726 Tue 06-Sep-16 16:27:49

Sorry, I didn't mean to trivialise the risk of miscarriage, I just meant that the risk is low.

NameChange30 Tue 06-Sep-16 16:32:44

Not at all, I understand what you meant.
I suppose CVS is only really offered on the NHS if and when you have a "high risk" screening test result, so in other words, after the 12 week scan. I don't know what the options are if you want a CVS at 10 weeks - you would probably have to pay for a private one. And people might prefer to opt for NIPT if the costs is similar.

Emily Oster is American so her book is written from the perspective of someone considering her options within the US system. It's still relevant for us but the options are slightly different I think.

YoungGirlGrowingOld Tue 06-Sep-16 16:32:51

Hi OP

I am just a year younger than you, had the NIPT test (similar to Harmony) and my risk came back as 1:250,000 for all 3 trisomies. I can live with that wink

As a PP said, age is only one factor. Congratulations! flowers

user1472662726 Tue 06-Sep-16 16:41:54

Thanks name change and young girl.

Glad to hear your good news young girl!

I guess my fear is getting an inconclusive harmony result, or high risk, and then having to go down the cvs route anyway. And all the time time is ticking along. Whichever I have will be private as I just want it done ASAP. I'm nearly 8 weeks I think.

None of this is helped by feeling horrendous (as I did with my first two) so my thinking is definitely clouded.

NameChange30 Tue 06-Sep-16 17:14:57

I thought Harmony and other NIPTs were very accurate, so you wouldn't get an inconclusive result? I think I also read that in the unlikely event it was inconclusive, they would give you another test at no extra charge?

I might be making that up but I'm sure I read it somewhere... In any case perhaps you could ask about it if you make enquiries with the private test providers.

YoungGirlGrowingOld Tue 06-Sep-16 19:06:22

Am no expert but my understanding is the same as names. Also it's just a blood test so low/no risk and you can find out the gender. It was money well spent for me.

Good luck OP!

Crawlingupthewalls Tue 06-Sep-16 19:21:36

Yep my understanding is the same as 2 PP including bit about a retest a week or so later if the results weren't categoric ( apparently the amount of fetal DNA circulating in mothers blood rises week by week ?). HTH OP and hang in there!

user1472662726 Wed 07-Sep-16 14:21:32

Thanks everyone. I'm going with harmony in a couple of weeks I guess, I have a viability scan in Friday to date how many weeks.

I'll keep you posted. It's really helpful to share my thoughts thanka again.

One more thing....lfmc apparently still go to.us, hence up to two weeks wait. The birth company apparently send to us and UK, but cannot guarantee, so no certainty you'll get it sooner than two weeks

NameChange30 Fri 23-Sep-16 18:20:46

Hi OP, how are you doing? Hope everything is going well with your pregnancy. Have you had a Harmony test yet?

I thought of you because I was chatting to a colleague who said she got pregnant at 42 and she was given a Down's/Edwards risk factor of 1/25, based solely on age, but it was massively reduced after she had her combined screening (nuchal measurement and blood test).

user1472662726 Fri 23-Sep-16 23:45:59

Hi there name change. Thanks for thinking of me. I'm ok. Had viability scan at lfmc two weeks ago and I'm a bit less pregnant than I thought....I'm now 9 weeks plus 2. Having tge harmony next Friday and literally counting down til I get the results. Have met two women through work about twenty years older than me who had lovely surprise additions to their families at 42, those boys are both starting uni tmw so there's hope! I didn't tell them btw, I must be radiating the need to hear these stories as people keep telling me.

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