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Nuchal Scan/Harmony Dilemma!!

(18 Posts)
Gingerbreadpixie Thu 31-Jan-13 17:15:32

Hi all. It's been a few weeks since I posted. I'm 9w 5d with my first pg and went for a private reassurance scan at the Fetal Medicine Centre today. It was great, baby was the right size, had a strong heartbeat and was even wiggling about! It gave me a much-needed boost as I've developed quite bad anxiety and have been having a rough time. I'm not in the habit of throwing £100 on a whim but it was money well spent for peace of mind and the service was faultless.

I've got my NHS nuchal scan all booked for when I'm 11w 5d. I am happy to have this on NHS at St Thomas' in London and in the back of my mind thought I could always return to FMC for a second opinion if I had any concerns or there were any problems.

Well, today at the FMC I was told if I booked a nuchal scan there then they'd give me the Harmony test for free if I had it done within a certain time frame (next week). Now I know the Harmony is meant to be a really innovative test and could eliminate the need for amnio etc should the nuchal give me any cause for concern. But it would mean committing to a second nuchal scan even if my NHS one turns out to be totally fine. And at £180 it is quite a lot to us (though it wouldn't leave us destitute).

I'm really not sure whether to cancel the Harmony test and just stick with NHS nuchal unless given any reason to seek a second opinion, or have the Harmony and the private nuchal as the Harmony is a really accurate, non-invasive way to screen for abnormalities??

I hope that all made sense! Opinions gratefully received!!

TwitchyTail Thu 31-Jan-13 17:44:48

Do you have any high risk factors for Down's / trisomies? If not (or actually even if you do!), the overwhelming likelihood is that the NHS nuchal test will be normal and give you no cause for concern. Personally, I would be reluctant to spend £180 on something that I could get for free a week later, but that's just me... mind you I've had a very good experience with the NHS sonographers at our local hospital who have all been excellent, and I know that's not everyone's experience.

I would have the harmony. If all comes back clear you will inevitable feel you 'wasted' the money, but if you dont have it and your NHS nuchal comes back high risk you will be kicking yourself. I really think its money well spent if they are doing that deal for you.

Gingerbreadpixie Thu 31-Jan-13 17:50:59

I'm 34yo and have type 1 diabetes. I don't know if that equates to a higher risk? But I think I'm going to stick with my original plan of sticking with my NHS one and only going private as a back-up.

curiousgeorgie Thu 31-Jan-13 17:56:08

I'd go for it. The harmony test is completely risk free and 99.9 % accurate... And that sounds like the deal of the century as some places charge you £600 for it.

TwitchyTail Thu 31-Jan-13 17:56:16

No, no particular risk factors there.

I'd think of it as a gamble of £180 with the odds 100/1 in your favour smile

combinearvester Thu 31-Jan-13 17:58:48

I'm shocked that people 'sell up' needless tests scans this to be honest.
What's next? Buy a CVS get an amnio free just to double check? Bleurgh.

RufousBartleby Thu 31-Jan-13 18:00:29

Go for the private one OP if you can afford it.

I had a private nuchal a week after my NHS one, as I had anxiety due to family history. NHS nuchal showed as completely normal, low risk for downs etc.

The private scan/bloods showed as 1:2. The scanners they have privately are so much better and clearer than the NHS, and I was scanned by a consultant. I must mention though that it was a completely different hospital to the one you are going to, so may be fine where you are.

It was the best hundred odd quid I've ever spent though.

Darwiniia Thu 31-Jan-13 18:05:11

I have done the Harmony Test and do not regret it. I paid £400 for it and it is the best £400 I spent.

I suppose one way of looking at it is that if for any reason you will need amnio/CVE (which fingers crossed will not be the case) and you prefer to have the Harmony test, you have to pay at least £400 instead of the £180. Another way of looking at it is that you are getting a £400 test for £180.

EwokStorageUnit Thu 31-Jan-13 19:05:11

Hi OP, I'd go for the harmony if I was given the option you've been given.

Under the antenatal test section there's a long but very informative thread.

I'm likely to be high risk because of my age and I will consider paying full price if my results do come back high risk rather than risk the 1-2% chance of a miscarriage with amnio or CVS. When I looked the cost was up to £600.

Good luck xx

EwokStorageUnit Thu 31-Jan-13 19:08:48

The thread is "Harmony prenatal test - anyone know about it"

Dexidoo Thu 31-Jan-13 19:46:04

I've had my first appointment for the harmony test and going back to FMC next week for results and the nuchal.

Harmony is a much more accurate screening test. They are doing the quad test/nuchal as part of the package to collect data on how many unnecessary amnios could be avoided.

If you can afford it I'd spend the £180

combinearvester Thu 31-Jan-13 19:55:30

I find it hard to believe they would get ethical approval to do research on paying customers who are offered a 2 for 1 discount to take up both tests.

nellyjelly Thu 31-Jan-13 19:58:03

Why test if there is no risk? Smacks of selling. The nuchal will tell you your risk, if it is not high then you won't need further testing.

themagus Thu 31-Jan-13 20:27:23

I would take the Harmony deal. Your mind will be totally at ease. Plus you will get a better nuchal at the FMC (which also takes into account nasal bone and absence/presence of other soft markers) than on the NHS which just does bloods + NT measurement.
Nuchal is a screening and not diagnostic test... you will never get "no risk", just high or low, and DS can happen to anyone, you don't need to have risk factors.

discobeaver Thu 31-Jan-13 20:48:05

The harmony test plus scan for £180 sounds like a good choice if you can afford it. But it does only test for the three main trisomies I think and isn't a full chromosome count so doesn't guarantee everything 100%.
An amnio wouldn't test for everything either - my last pregnancy everything came back great, nuchal, bloods, scans - buy my dd still has a genetic abnormality that an amnio wouldn't have shown.
It is sooooo difficult and you can drive yourself crazy thinking of all the options and I hope I hsven't made things harder, just that there are no certainties you have to make the best decision you can and that's a personal thing. I think in your position I would go for the Harmony test.

Gingerbreadpixie Thu 31-Jan-13 21:03:26

Thanks for all the replies. I'm still torn but it helps to hear others' opinions on this. I'm going to show DH your replies and we'll have a chat about it as its not just my decision.

belsize77 Thu 31-Jan-13 21:20:54

If you got a bad NHS nuchal result and go to the FMC for a second opinion, you will have to pay full price for the Harmony or just have a repeat second opinion nuchal for 180 quid. I had the same Dr for my NHS scan at UCH as I had at the FMC but the FMC machine was superior.

In my experience they hardly upsell the Harmony test at the FMC they just handed me a piece of paper with the details when I arrived. I had the Harmony test done before the NHS nuchal as I had a very high nuchal result last time and was told to expect bad news. I was incredibly stressed as a result (particularly as I didn't want an amnio or CVS). I would have paid anything to have a non invasive test even though I only wanted to know so I could prepare. Also on the "selling/offering point" I would say that the FMC probably attracts a larger proportion of older, richer or higher risk mothers for whom the test may be of greater interest than the average mother.

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