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Harmony prenatal test - anyone know about it

(831 Posts)
RTchoke Mon 29-Oct-12 05:41:25

today I am having a new kind of prenatal test called Harmony. It's non-invasive and seems to just be a new kind of blood test plus the regular nuchal scan but it's much more accurate than the traditional nuchal blood test. Apparently it's nearly as accurate as a CVS but without any risk.

I'm the only person I know who is having this test and nobody else seems to have heard of it let alone have been offered it. I just wondered if others have and knowledge of it and how accurate it is.

BadMissM Wed 06-Feb-13 18:50:24

positive 38 and Alm83 I am really glad that I went for the test. My trust didn't even want to give me a test, then did grudgingly last week. I got the results from the NHS test today. Just a blood test, no Nuchal.... 1 in 15.

My Harmony Test, much better, much more detailed, with Nuchal.... less than 1 in 10,000 for all 3 trisomies. Luckily I had this 2 weeks ago, so I'm not panicking. If you read the thread, most high-risk ladies have been fine one here xxxx

Positive 38 They calmed me down completely at the FMC. The 2 weeks waiting is hard, but mine was even worse than yours on NHS, and I'm 45, and everything was fine.... Don't worry and if you want a moan on here, we're here to listen xxx

alm83 Wed 06-Feb-13 22:46:57

BadMissM and Positive38 Thank you for your reply... I never thought being pregnant could be so stressful! I have my Harmony test booked for Friday morning... I guess I will get my result in two weeks? So on Friday 22nd Feb... I will be 15 weeks and 4 days then... I really hope it will all be OK. It is such a strange feeling, we want to tell everybody, but at the back of my mind there are the NHS results... anyway, good luck!

Positive38 let us know how it went! Did they say to you that it will take two whole weeks?

Positive38 Thu 07-Feb-13 11:17:26

Hi Ladies
Sorry Just seen this post didnt get an email confirmation of your postings, is there anyway i can set this up?

HI Badmissm - so you were pretty High intially then 1:15 can I ask what made you so high??

my bloods and NT are as follows:

HIgh HCG - 3.43 ( they like to see 1)
SLightly Low PAPP - 0.61 ( they like to see 1)
Add to that my age - 38 they also factor in IVF and there it was
my NT was 1.9 so this wasnt a factor in this at al.

did you also have to wait a FULL 2 WEEKS ?? she said some come back in 10 days.

Also when they call how do they communicate the results?

past few days ive been a nightmare so miserable and down. i gave up work to do IVF so nothing to consume my mind either.
Feeling a lot more positive today..... so many women have a good outcome.

HI Alma83 - I never knew being pregnant would be so stressful my IVF was so easy,id do it all again tomorrow but since we got our BFP its just been one worry after another

They said it takes 14 days but some come back earlier i am praying its back by next Friday that way we only have 1 weekend to get through.. and i have a busy week next week.

sadly we told EVERYONE last Thur as our scan went so well and she said she didnt think we would have a problem i guess my high HCG and age threw all that out window, avoiding my friends right now.

Really glad I found this thread as the whole harmony test hasnt been talked about much.....

Positive38 Thu 07-Feb-13 11:18:06


BadMissM Thu 07-Feb-13 11:37:49

Positive38 I haven't had the full NHS result, just a phone call. She said 1 in 15. I was told however here they factor in age, previous pregnancies (mine haven't been great), and BMI against you (I'm 45 will be 46 by birth, with a BMI of 30)... Think they also factor in partner details, and my DH is 48 and has a sister with special needs. This was yesterday, so will find out details next week in clinic...

Also, my PCT just do a blood test, the NT wasn't a factor at all....

I waited a full 2 weeks, but it was taken on New Year's Eve, so those delays would have made a difference...other people have said 10 days... They told me when I went back for the NT scan, as I had mine early (10 weeks then 12 weeks).

About 16 years ago had an amnio after a blood test put me at a 1:30 risk aged 29. The amnio was botched, I lost the baby, and it turned out it was a false positive, my risk was non-existent. I don't believe the standard blood test very much, which is why I went for Harmony (a 600 mile round trip twice for me...)

I am so glad that I went, or now I would be panicking. TBH, I am just taking my high NHS result as proof of how shoddy my PCT are, and not paying much attention....

BadMissM Thu 07-Feb-13 11:38:52

As for email confirmations...not that technical! I just look on Threads I'm On! xxx

Positive38 Thu 07-Feb-13 12:16:18

Oh I see you wont find out till clinic but as you said u have had harmony now so you have peace of mind..... wow where do u live then hun.
Thankfully we are 1.5 hours from London to Harley Street ... when we went for consultation on Tuesday as we turned down CVS i needed to do something that day so am thankful they fitted us in.

so do they say you tested negative for all 3 or do they say you have a risk factor of hence u are low or high risk?

am so sorry to hear about your amnio 16 years ago what an awful time for you and you.

well i dont believe the blood tests either... i believe IVF pregnancies who up higher HCG anyway they have taken this into account... and my age.

i am counting down the days...... that it be 10 days

thanks again x

OrdinaryGirl Thu 07-Feb-13 12:54:48

Hello brave and brilliant ladies.

Just reaching out for a paw of support really.

Have my appointment at the FMC tomorrow - viability scan and Harmony blood draw. Heart in mouth a bit - hands cold and clammy. Have lurking worry about a missed miscarriage - such an awful thing to contemplate that you have all the normal pregnancy symptoms but not know something's gone wrong.

Don't think I'll be able to even look at the screen or the sonographer until they say something. Assuming all okay, can't even think about how I'll be feeling this time in 2 weeks waiting for the Harmony result.

None of my clothes are comfy but I'm too scared to buy new ones until/unless I see a heartbeat and know I have a healthy baby.

Hope all of you in the same situation are bearing up okay. Sending love and light. Xx

BadMissM Thu 07-Feb-13 13:08:06

Positive 38 Where do I live? Not very far from Scottish Border! So as far as you can go in England, really!

On Harmony I was negative for all 3, less than 1 in 10,000 for Trisomies 13,18, and 21. They were perfectly happy with my HCG and PAPPA-A.

My HCG was 1.1233
PAPPA-A was 0.9773

(That was at 10 weeks at FMC)

No problem, it's a scary time!

OrdinaryGirl Chances are, everything's against that having happened if you are having the symptoms. My heart was in my mouth at the first scan...I was frighetened to look!

Once you've had the first scan and seen the baby, somehow makes it easier to wait for the Harmony know at least everything's there and in the right place!

Love and light back to you, and a virtual hand-holding for tomorrow. (but you won't need it, they are absolutely lovely and very reassuring!) xxx

alm83 Fri 08-Feb-13 18:16:57

Dear all,

Just to add my experience today at the FMC. I was so well treated, they gave me lots of reassurance and the whole process was done in under an hour. If you had a NT they will only scan the baby for a heart beat and they take the blood samples. I asked if I could now whether the baby is a boy or a girl but they said that because the tests concentrates on trisomies, they don't look for the sex. I also asked if the results will be available after the full two weeks and the doctor explained that the reason they take two samples of blood is to test one first, and if that works, you can have your results in 10 days. If it does not work, they will check the other tube and then you will get your results in two weeks.

I guess the waiting will be difficult... I will try to get myself busy and not think about it too much. I am so glad to hear that so many of you are getting the expected results. Good luck Positive38 and OrdinaryGirl, I hope you get your results very soon! Please let us know!

Good luck to all of you ladies!


OrdinaryGirl Fri 08-Feb-13 19:29:12

Checking back in as promised.... THANK YOU for all of the e-hand-holding and positive vibes, especially BadMissM and Alm83 smile

Had my initial appointment at the FMC today - good news so far!

Little ankle-biter is very much there (you do start to doubt EVERYTHING) and has a heartbeat of 170bpm which I gather is normal. Crown to rump length also normal and I was only one day off in what I thought my dates were.

2 weeks now before we get the Harmony test results back and have the nuchal test, but I do feel okay about it at the moment. High risk due to age (1 in 270 at my age of nearly 36) is still a low risk if you imagine it as a room full of 270 people with guns pointed at you, only one of which is loaded. Actually, don't imagine that, it's not in any way relaxing.

FMC was just a delightful experience. Beautiful, light, spacious premises with very professional, friendly ladies on reception, and we had such a kind, smiley doctor (Dr Barbara Bregant - sort of a Bond Girl of obstetricians I imagine - Russian-type accent, slim, stunning, exuding competence) who patiently waited for me to stop crying with relief (it turns out that heaving sobs make the probe bounce up and down) when I saw a real live BABY on the screen.

There was time to ask all the questions we had - interesting pieces of information were as follows:

- to Dr Bregant's knowledge and the knowledge of the lab technician I also asked, there have been no false negatives recorded for the Harmony test. She did caveat this by saying that obviously Ariosa the test providers couldn't track down all women who'd had the test to confirm the result, but as far as she knew, there was a tiny incidence of a false positive but not of a false negative. The FMC have only been offering the test since mid-October 2012 but I'm guessing they are keeping a tight eye on accuracy.

- in the event of a high risk result, they can apparently do a CVS on the same day (£500) which is good to know if you're travelling from outside London. I asked what the FMC's miscarriage rates were for CVS and she rather coyly said that she could only quote the official nationwide figure for the procedure - i.e. 1% - but that the FMC's rates were lower / better than that. Which is really reassuring. Hopefully it won't come to that.

- they weighed me and measured my height - apparently women with 'normal range' BMIs seem to generate more accurate results, though exact figures would be something you'd need to ask about I guess.

- if you have an NHS nuchal test / combined test before the 2nd FMC appointment, and the results are terrifying, you can call up the FMC and if the blood results are back from America they will tell you over the phone. She mentioned a case where the NHS results had frightened the bejesus out of one poor lady with a risk rating of 1 in 5, but the FMC & Harmony data said she was actually very low risk & Harmony test was negative. Good to know. Having been there and seen the way they do things, I would put my money on FMC every time.

So that's my debrief for now. Anything I've missed just ask. Otherwise I'll be back when I have more to report. Agent O over and out. x

BadMissM Fri 08-Feb-13 20:42:32

Hi OrdinaryGirl Sounds like it went really well. I had Dr Bregant as well, and she was lovely to me too! She was really thorough, and answered all of my questions and concerns! Lithuanian btw (I asked!) If I hadn't had the Harmony, I would have had the crap scared out of me by the NHS result too xxx

SomeDaySoon74 Fri 08-Feb-13 22:51:13

For what it's worth, I had a terrible experience with FMC and the Harmony test. Wouldn't recommend them to anyone. Spent the worst two weeks of my life waiting for results which they prolonged based on their superior knowledge (telling me I would be fine so no need to have CVS) and ended up having to be 'saved' by the NHS just in the nick of time to have CVS and then a a surgical termination just before the cut off. Paid lots of money for fancy doctors in glamorous outfits and fancy settings telling me nothing was wrong when in fact my baby had Downs and I should have been getting on with having a CVS to get confirmation of that. It's all well and good for those of you with good news to say how great FMC are but for those of us with bad news I think they offer an appalling service. When I eventually got confirmation of Downs via the NHS all FMC could say was "well we did expect that to be the case". The Prof had said "see you at 20 weeks" when I saw him, so not sure how that equates. Truly appalling.

RufousBartleby Fri 08-Feb-13 23:28:25

Oh someday - i recognise you from your name change i am so sorry your experience was so awful. completely agree this thread is full of good news stories which is lovely on the one hand but in another a pretty useless endorsement if the practice deals so poorly with bad outcomes. As you know i had the same outcome as you but was ttreated so much by the private practice i used. i wouldnt go near the FMC based on what youve said here and on your previos thread - i was truly shocked by the way you were given false hope and poor advice.

RufousBartleby Fri 08-Feb-13 23:30:34

Sorry on my phone - that should have said treated so much better.

OrdinaryGirl Sat 09-Feb-13 08:54:13

SomedaySoon74 I am so sorry for what must have been an absolutely awful experience. sad (((hug))) It can't be easy reading good feedback on FMC when it is so at odds with what happened to you. This is the first instance I've heard of the Harmony test giving a false negative so that is something important to bear in mind - thank you for being prepared to share the information.

RufousBartleby really sorry to hear of your loss too.
Whatever stage you're both now at and whatever your plans for the future, you have my heartfelt good wishes for complete healing and a joyous outcome. I'm pretty sure the legions of mumsnetters reading your posts will be sending you all the luck and good vibes in the world. Xx

OrdinaryGirl Sat 09-Feb-13 09:01:44

SomedaySoon74 just to clarify I meant the false negative is something for me to bear in mind - I read my last post back and that bit didn't sound like I meant it to. x

alm83 Sat 09-Feb-13 10:56:29

SomedaySoon74 i am so sorry you had such a terrible experience. My thoughts are with you and I wish you all the best of luck in future tries. Would you mind if I ask you, did you get a false negative result from the harmony test? Sorry I did not understand that bit.... I think all of us are trying to get the positives from everybody's experiences, but it is true we have to listen to all of them to make an informed decision. Thank you so much for sharing your experience with us!

My thoughts and prayers are with you....

SomeDaySoon74 Sat 09-Feb-13 20:43:08

Hi again. Sorry for the rant yesterday, was feeling a bit emotional. It's been less than 3 weeks since my TFMR so I'm still a bit up and down. Thank you for everyone who's been sympathetic though, I appreciate it.
Just to clarify the bit about false negatives for those of you considering the Harmony test, no I didn't get a false negative. I got a 1:2 result from my combined test at FMC so the doc I saw there recommended I had CVS before waiting for my Harmony results (saying it was pretty much clear-cut from the scan & bloods). But the Prof looked at my results a few days later and said I shouldn't worry about the 1:2, it all looked ok to him. He said I shouldn't listen to the 'silly woman' who had given me the 1:2 result (one of his own team) and joked she was suicidal as her boyfriend had finished with her so she was being overly negative about my chances. I had signed the consent form for the CVS but he talked me out of it saying I should wait for the Harmony result rather than having the CVS. (The previous FMC doc had said that even if the Harmony gave a low risk result she would recommend a CVS.) Prof disagreed, putting 100% faith in Harmony. He said I would get the Harmony result within 2 days and it would all be fine. I didn't get the results in those timescales. So spent another 5 days in emotional turmoil before getting my Harmony result. The Harmony came back as high risk and I had to wait another 2 more days to have CVS (on NHS) and then 2 more days for the result to confirm the result (positive for Trisomy 21, Downs). NHS won't do a termination based on Harmony results, they need 100% proof that the baby has chromosome abnormalities. I had the TFMR on the very last day that the NHS would do it surgically - 13w4d and that was only because of the fantastic NHS docs I spoke to taking pity on me. (I had made it clear to the prof that i would want a surgical procedure if the worst happened, and explained that time was short, but he was so convinced i would be ok that he said not to have the CVS. I'm so angry with him for this as I would have had the CVS done a week sooner if he hadn't talked me out of it.). Late surgical terminations increase the risk of a damaged uterus/bowel during the procedure. So the Prof should have taken this into account when talking me out of the CVS.
I'm going to try again for a baby and if I do get pg again I would almost certainly want to have the Harmony test again as my chances of a Downs baby are now 3x higher automatically, but I would definitely look for another practice to conduct it. Everyone medically that I have spoken to about the Prof has spoken of his reputation but not always in a good way. Apparently he is like a celebrity in medical circles but has an appalling/offensive bedside manner and isn't necessarily as good as he thinks he is.

SomeDaySoon74 Sat 09-Feb-13 21:13:18

P.S. Should have said: Rufous - thank you so much for all your support a few weeks back. It really helped! Hope you're doing ok. xx

BadMissM Sun 10-Feb-13 19:02:58

SomeDaySoon74 As someone who also lost several children, through ectopic, miscarriage, and one through a false positive blood test and a botched amnio that wasn't neccessary, I have found the Harmony Test much better. I knew there was a high chance with my age that I would have a high result and have to have further testing, possibly. But my aim was to avoid that if I possibly could.

I had a miscarriage of twins two years ago, which my PCT refused to test for reasons, and blamed everything on my age, and one consultant, on 'the fact I wasn't married'. My PCT still won't do nuchal and combined testing.

But as a 45 year-old who was terrified to the point of fainting about another amnio as they not only botched mine, it hurt like nothing on earth, it meant I could go through this pregnancy without spending nine months of worry, for which I am eternally grateful.

I can't speak for the Professor, but the treatment I received was wonderful, and if I could afford it, I would have returned for the rest of the tests.

I know everyone has a different experience, but I was just sharing mine as it happened.

RufousBartleby Sun 10-Feb-13 20:03:45

thanks Someday you helped me too. Just knowing there was someone else going through the same thing (horrible as it is) made me feel less alone. So thank you for sharing. I hope you are doing okay smile

Positive38 Mon 11-Feb-13 12:21:17

Hi Ladies,

someday and Rufous I am so sorry for your loss my heart goes out to you both what an awful time for both of you.... really am so sorry...

This wait for Harmony results is killing me. be a week tomorrow. i have positive days but i also have really crap days where i just focus on us being the % that has downs. i am sleeping but having such vivid dreams i wake up exhausted. my head hurts and i feel drained. my partner is at work and doesnt think about it all day and feels positive so why dont i.

I keep thinking how positive our scans are , and that my HCG could be due to IVF pregnancy or just how i am in general.

cannott enjoy being pregnant, have avoided most of my friends as we told them we are pregnant and now this.....

I rang FMC to see if we would be a 10 or 14 day result and she cant tell us. if 10 days will be Thur or Fri this week, if not then MOn or Tue next week!!!

I know so many women come back ok so why cant i stay positive!!!

badmiss so glad you got your Harmony test before NHS results I will defo do that next time this wait is killing me. you must be over the moon

Alma you now have the long wait like me how are you feeling?

* Ordinary* and you are waiting too, so glad your bubs was there nice and strong, we had scans at 7 weeks 8 weeks 11 weeks and 12 weeks and every time i worried is there a heartbeat, now i just have another worry

So nice to have found this thread it really helps to know others are going through this.... thank you for your support xxxxx

alm83 Mon 11-Feb-13 17:48:19

Dear all,

i cannot tell you how good it makes me feel that you have shared all your experiences. I guess it just makes you feel that you are not alone! Positive38 I was actually thinking about you today, as I know you had the test done a few days earlier than me... I am trying not to think about it too much, and like you, I am trying to focus on the positive results of the scan and not the bloods. For me it will be a week on Friday, so I have to wait a bit... I really hope the results will come at 10 days so that I can relax completely. It is funny my husband is also so positive about it, he does not even think about it anymore! I think he has almost forgotten I did the test...

Being at work makes me forget and the fact that I generally feel very normal (the days of strange sickness feeling are gone now) makes it easier. I work in a school and next week is half term... I so want to enjoy my free week and maybe do my first bit of baby shopping! Anyway, I keep sending my positive vibes to all of you and please keep us posted!

Someday74 thank you so much for clarifying about the false negative, and I am sorry for what you have been through. I really hope you will feel better soon enough to try again!

Hugs to all of you ladies!

Positive38 Mon 11-Feb-13 21:25:08

hi alma i have spent too much time googling.not good.
one thing i have read is that an ivf pregnancy which mine is can make bloods squiffy....praying this is case.
was gutted that fmc couldnt give me any indication.when ill get results.
fri is 10days for us so praying it be.then.
i swing from being positive to really struggling through.
i u want to enjoy pregnancy.

will be thinking of u too and pls keep in touch.....

hope everyone else is ok xxxx

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