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Please help me decide whether to have Harmony test

(31 Posts)
StripeyOrangeTrousers Mon 16-Mar-15 15:03:09

I'm 37 and 9 weeks pregnant with my second child. When I was pregnant with DD, I was 34 and was given a risk of around 1/160 for Downs at the NT scan, mainly due to absent nasal bone and high HCG. We decided to have a CVS and all was well, but the experience was really stressful. I'm dreading going through the process again and I'm aware the odds may be worse because I'm older. (I don't know whether high HCG is likely to recur but I wouldn't be surprised if the nasal bone is an issue again as both DD and I have small noses!). My anxiety is not being helped by the fact that my GP referred me to the wrong hospital, which means I still don't have a date for booking in or 12 week scan. I'm considering going for the Harmony package at the Foetal Medicine Centre, but £400 is a lot to us just at the moment. Also, I think my DH thinks I'm being over anxious, though he's said he's happy with whatever I want to do. I keep going back and forth - can anyone sway me?

quesadillas Mon 16-Mar-15 15:07:41

I'm wondering the same. Second pregnancy, 36, 10 weeks pregnant. My first pregnancy was low risk and I didn't have further testing, but attitudes of both GP and midwife seem very downbeat this time, just because I'm over 35. I don't know whether to just go for it, or whether to wait and see what happens at the scan.

StripeyOrangeTrousers Mon 16-Mar-15 15:23:56

It's really tricky, isn't it quesadillas? At least it's somewhat comforting to know there are others in a similar position.

quesadillas Mon 16-Mar-15 15:37:19

It is tricky. I was told that my odds would probably be in three figures, which is very different from last time, so I think the jump in risk is what's frightening for me.

Funny enough, I also had delays in my hospital referral. I really wish they hadn't happened because I'd have had more time to think about things. Given that the Harmony test takes two weeks to return results, I kind of wish I'd had it in mind for longer.

DarkMoon Mon 16-Mar-15 21:47:41

I had the harmony test a few weeks ago after my screening result came back at 1:73.
The only negative issues I have with the test is the price, we paid £530 and the 2 week wait almost killed me, however, my results came back negative 1:10000 risk and if I had opted for the cvs or amino I would have felt terribly guilty that I had an invasive procedure which carries a small risk.

Kaz1904 Mon 16-Mar-15 21:59:31

Hi there,

I am 35 years old and got a risk factor of 1:32 based on my blood results. Nuchal was fine. I didn't want to risk a miscarriage with the amnio, this is my first baby and could be my only chance. We opted for the harmony test and can't recommend it enough. We were told it would take a fortnight but we got our results a couple of days earlier than that. We were delighted that we were given a very low risk of all 3 trisomies (<1:10,000).

It was a living nightmare from the minute we were told we were high risk to the point of getting the results. I cried every day and was beside myself with worry.

I am so grateful that we were in the fortunate position to be able to afford the harmony test and think it just shows how poor an indicator the nhs screening is. People are being put through unnecessary stress and I just hope the harmony test becomes more accessible/available on nhs in the future. Next time (if there is one!) I will not put myself through the stress of the nhs screening and will go straight for the harmony test.

Good luck! smile

Kaz1904 Mon 16-Mar-15 22:00:27

Meant to say, only got results less than a week ago so just been through this very recently!

Purpleball Mon 16-Mar-15 22:08:38

We went for a NIFTY and got the results back in 9 days, they said up to 12 days though. It was £430 and worth every penny. I was more worried about Edwards and Patau as we would have TFMR.
Still don't know what we'd have done for Downs.
I couldn't have lived with myself if I'd had amnio or cvs and been the one who miscarried late on. I've already had a miscarriage last year and it was horrendous.
To me it was a no brainer but we could afford it or the credit card could
The relief when I got the call was amazing! I won't say I won't worry for the rest of my pregnancy but I am not worried about those 3 things

GwenStacy Mon 16-Mar-15 22:24:40

I think it's dependant on what it would mean for you? I opted not to have any tests done - I had a bleed after my 12 week scan and realised that it wouldn't make a difference if we discovered the baby had downs or similar, we wouldn't terminate.

Artistic Mon 16-Mar-15 22:54:20

I was 37 when pregnant with DC2. I had the harmony by week-10 not so much with an option to terminate, rather I just didn't want to go through the stress of the NHS inaccuracies & resulting further tests etc. Once the harmony ruled out most problems, I didn't think twice about the NHS numbers which comparatively looked worse in terms of odds. If you are worried, you should have can give you much more certainty & reduce your stress!

LollieLoves Mon 16-Mar-15 22:58:58

I had the Panorama test, which is a wee bit more accurate than Harmony for Patau and Edwards. Was worth every penny for the peace of mind. I'm 40 and my background risk of Downs, before any tests/scans was 1 in 50 shock . Patau and Edwards were about 1 in 100. I'd have been far too anxious about the risks of CVS or amnio if we hadn't done the test. As it was I got a risk of 1 in 10,000 for trisomies and got to know I'd be having a girl much earlier than waiting for the 20 week scan.

LollieLoves Mon 16-Mar-15 23:00:47

And I agree with pp about anxiety resulting from the relative inaccuracy of the NHS tests. Will depend on your personality, of course, but for me 95% is nowhere near good enough for something that important.

WiIdfire Mon 16-Mar-15 23:08:47

I think the main question would be - what would you do if it was positive for Downs etc? If you wouldnt tfmr then save your money. If you would, go ahead.

Artistic Tue 17-Mar-15 11:07:19

Wildfire - I would say whether or not one chooses to terminate, the harmony test can provide you with an assurance of where you stand without any ambiguity. Even without an option to terminate, if the NHS numbers look bad, any mother would hope that they were perhaps inaccurate...
Why live these 9 months in stress when it is possible to have a clear picture, even if its not the answer the mother may want. Wouldn't it be better to not have any uncertainty.

Just my thought...not necessary that others should feel the same way. smile

FuckYouChrisAndThatHorse Tue 17-Mar-15 11:20:11

I had the harmony for one and the nifty for another smile it was great to have a yes or no answer rather than a guess. The nifty was significantly cheaper. As I understand it the only difference is your sample is analysed in China rather than America.

I also loved being able to find out the sex straight away.

If I was ever to have another I would definitely do it again. Worth every penny.

Kaz1904 Tue 17-Mar-15 18:25:10

I agree Artistic. We just wanted to be prepared or have our minds put at ease

SaggyAndLucy Tue 17-Mar-15 18:36:04

I'd wait for the 12 week scan. If they pick up on anything, then proceed with further tests.
I wouldn't spend money or have invasive tests unless there's some need.

JassyRadlett Tue 17-Mar-15 18:45:43

I'm 37 and will be 9w on Thursday. We've booked the Harmony at FMC - partly for reassurance based on much greater accuracy, and partly because we can only get the NHS nuchal scan on the absolute last day of the testing window, which doesn't give much room for the dates being out. (We are on a pre-booked holiday for the rest of the time, not the NHS's fault).

I think the fact that some NHS trusts are now piloting the Harmony test (or another NIFTY test) helped to swing it for me. I'm not in the right trust area but want that level of reassurance, rather than the less accurate NT results.

JassyRadlett Tue 17-Mar-15 18:47:16

Harmony isn't invasive, though? I get what you're saying about money - we're lucky to be able to afford it, and otherwise we would have had to pay to have the NT test abroad anyway.

daluze Tue 17-Mar-15 20:16:53

I had Harmony in the second pregnancy. I did a package at 10 weeks, so that results are there for 12 weeks scan. I did this because I had a high risk result in my first pregnancy, and the wait for CVS results afterwards was horrendous. So I wanted to avoid that at any cost. Even though I made a decision in advance not to terminate in case of Down syndrome, I still wanted to know.
On the other hand, there are many other conditions that the testing is not available for, so one could argue why to test for these 3 trisomies. It is individual decision, and people make different choices.

StripeyOrangeTrousers Tue 17-Mar-15 22:01:05

I want to thank everyone for your replies -- it's helpful to get different perspectives, and the upshot is I feel a bit less crazy for wanting more certainty! I'd have been on before but I'm just nearing the end of a stupidly busy work day.

I did bite the bullet yesterday evening and rang FMC to book in for the Harmony test. Unfortunately, they were only able to give me an appointment for when I'd be 11+2 (though still on the 10 weeks package) and the receptionist seemed pretty definite that the results wouldn't be available until two weeks later when I would come in for the NT scan. Of course I still don't have a date for my NHS scan, but if that was significantly (say, a week) before I was due to get the result, I feel I would lose some of the benefit of doing the Harmony. I may ring them and see if they can fit me in at 10 weeks. Anyway, thanks again -- and best of luck to those who are in a similar boat.

crispiecrunchie Thu 19-Mar-15 12:26:59

I'm debating this too. I got odds of 1 in 6000 for baby one and I was 40 at the time. Now 11 weeks with but 42 and midwife seemed convinced I would be high risk. I may wait until after scan to decide (next Wednesday) as I don't want to go for the test till I know pregnancy is viable.

Assume I can have harmony at 12 plus weeks. Perhaps I should try and book just now for end of next week. And could cancel if necessary?!

Anyone had harmony in Scotland?

Kaz1904 Thu 19-Mar-15 21:47:39

I'm in Scotland. Had mine done at Baby Wellbeing in Hamilton. There are quite a few clinics that do it.

crispiecrunchie Fri 20-Mar-15 07:22:35

Did they scan you as well kaz or just blood tests? Hamilton is pretty close for me!

Choccyhobnob Fri 20-Mar-15 12:00:45

I think you should wait til after your scan. I had the Harmony test last week (but only because my hospital does it for free if your risk is higher than 1:2500 and mine was 1:2307) I know I'm still technically low ish risk but I still worry every day until I get my results. Feel so lucky that I get it for free though.

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