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Harmony or standard NHS tests?

(30 Posts)
hopingandprayingthistime Thu 18-Jan-18 19:27:54

If money wasn’t really an issue, would you have the Harmony test and Nuchal Scan privately at the FMC or would you stick with the NHS Combined test followed by SAFE test if you get a high risk result from Combined test (this is offered by my Trust)? Worried I am overcomplicating things with the FMC option and NHS didn’t sound keen on using private scan results and I don’t want to be poked and prodded more than I need to be (definitely don’t want to have to have 2 x screening bloods and 2 x Nuchal scans and also would never be able to explain this to work!). What to do?

PinkAvocado Thu 18-Jan-18 19:30:39

I paid for the Panorama test at 9 weeks. Didn’t then need the nhs test at 12 although did have the scan. They just wrote on my notes that I’d had the test.

daluze Thu 18-Jan-18 22:30:16

I am surprised your hospital would not use FMC results. I had a package in FMC, which included combined test (bloods + scan) and Harmony, and my hospital actively discouraged of having a test with them. I went for testing at FMC as I had high risk in my first pregnancy (1:7) followed by CVS (all was fine) and I did not want to go through that again. So I chose to know Harmony results before the 12 weeks scan. However, it was also before NIPT became available on NHS. Good luck whatever test you have!

daluze Thu 18-Jan-18 22:32:37

My message is not very clear - I meant my hospital adviced not to repeat a combined test as I already had one. So I skipped NHS one.

PinkAvocado Thu 18-Jan-18 22:36:38

I didn’t realise NIPT was available on the NHS! Is it dependent on trust do you know?

Bellamuerte Thu 18-Jan-18 22:59:40

They're only just starting to offer NIPT on the NHS this year, and only for women who receive a high risk result from the NHS Combined Test (although other women can pay to have it if they want).

OP I don't see the difference between having private scan+NIPT or NHS scan+NIPT? Surely it's virtually the same thing?

hopingandprayingthistime Fri 19-Jan-18 07:45:16

@Bellamuerte I suppose the difference is that you’d have to go through the uncertainty of the NHS tests (which are less reliable) and only then if you get a high risk result would you be offered the SAFE test - not sure about the other acronym that you use but I guess it means the same? And by then it’d be later on in the pregnancy? And what if you got a result that indicated medium risk (not high but not low) - then you wouldn’t be offered the SAFE test on the NHS and you’d have to go off and pay for Harmony separately for peace of mind?

EggsonHeads Fri 19-Jan-18 07:48:11

Private every time. The tests are more reliable and the scans more pleasant. I hated having anything done by the NHS. The staff were always very rude and unable to answer questions quite often. Have always had very pleasant experiences in the private sector.

Bellamuerte Fri 19-Jan-18 08:01:21

Harmony and SAFE test are just different brand names for the same type of NIPT testing. As I understand it, the NHS does the Combined Test first (which includes a nuchal scan and a blood test) and only offers free NIPT testing to women who have a high risk result, but anyone can choose to pay the NHS for a NIPT test even if their result is low risk. So the procedure is the same as it would be if you went private? (I.e. Nuchal scan and blood test followed by NIPT)?

hopingandprayingthistime Fri 19-Jan-18 08:11:46

Thanks. So I suppose the difference is timing in that in the private sector you can pick and choose when to have your tests (and can schedule them for as soon as possible in the pregnancy).

FraterculaArctica Fri 19-Jan-18 08:21:58

I'd go privately, because it gives you a close to diagnostic answer whereas if you come back low risk from NHS screening you might still be the 1 in whatever. And also because you can do the Harmony test at 10 weeks and have results back by 12, whereas you might not have initial NHS screening till nearly 14 weeks - and then be nearer 16 weeks by the time you got Harmony results. But it depends on your attitude to risk and how you feel about continuing the pregnancy with a trisomy diagnosis. I would not have continued, so wanted to know asap with high certainty.

Bellamuerte Fri 19-Jan-18 08:27:33

It's the same diagnostic test with the same accuracy whether NHS or private, so I dont see the difference? You could go private and still be the 1 in whatever. I agree you can have the tests done sooner if you go private.

UnaOfStormhold Fri 19-Jan-18 08:40:20

Another factor to consider is your age as the older you are the higher your risk is likely to be on the nuchal test. So over 40 I would definitely get it done privately to avoid the hellish waiting that I had last time between getting the NHS result (1:50 of Edwards I think) and the harmony test result (low risk.) You can decline the NHS screening so no need to get bloods taken twice.

Starlive22 Fri 19-Jan-18 10:31:22

I've just been through a whole massive ordeal which thankfully came back fine due to screening.

I had the Harmony test and it was the best money I ever spent, and although the wait was agonising, the peace of mind was very much worth it.

It was quite pricey and we aren't exactly loaded but it's supposed to be very very reliable and it's obviously non intrusive so it's got a gold star from me!

hopingandprayingthistime Fri 19-Jan-18 11:25:48

Thanks all. I’m sorry to hear that @Starlive22 and glad it was all okay in the end. I am going to go for Harmony.

Starlive22 Fri 19-Jan-18 13:33:39

Yes all fine thank god but I would definitely recommend the Harmony, hope the results are good, it's worth it for peace of mind. Fingers crossed for you op xxx

hopingandprayingthistime Fri 19-Jan-18 14:00:42

Thanks @Starlive22 flowers

itshappening Fri 19-Jan-18 15:55:36

I had Harmony, combined bloods and nuchal scan at the FMC. I did still go for my nuchal scan on NHS (and they repeated blood tests) isn't really necessary to double up like that but because I had a subchorionic haematoma midwife advised keep NHS scan appointment to provide monitoring for that. Also, quite useful to have both as positioning wasn't quite right for private nuchal measurements. The risks from combined bloods and nuchal were similar at both places.

I would absolutely definitely do private if you can afford it. Firstly even if you are not high risk, the Harmony gives you more accurate (though not diagnostic) information. Secondly you can have the Harmony before the nuchal you can act on any information if need to much sooner. By the time you have had all the NHS tests you could be five or six weeks further NHS scan was not till 13 +6 and then there would have been additional wait for Harmony appt and results after that if I had gone on to have them.

KTD27 Fri 19-Jan-18 18:44:12

NIPT every time. My bloods came back as low risk but my baby had TRisomy 18 which we discovered through a NIPT done because I had a niggle something wasn’t right and the low risk number wasn’t low enough for me. The SAFE test would have found it but I wouldn’t have been referred for it on my numbers. Just food for thought though I appreciate unusual

hopingandprayingthistime Fri 19-Jan-18 18:53:26

Thanks @KTD27 I’m sorry that must have been so difficult. I am definitely going to pay for Harmony up front at 10 weeks.

KTD27 Fri 19-Jan-18 21:45:02

If you have the cash it’s money well spent honestly. Hearing that there’s nothing wrong is priceless. Hope all goes well x

TurquoiseDress Sun 21-Jan-18 16:24:08

I'm 39 and went for the Harmony testing- get results this week.

Because of my age & TTC for over 12 months following a missed miscarriage found at the dating scan, we just wanted to go straight for NIPT.

I could've waited to do it all the NHS but I'm 13 weeks now and haven't had my dating scan yet.

But I've had 2 private scans already to check how things are going.
If we'd waited for standard NHS testing, I'd have had no scan as yet (unless I kicked up a fuss or made up symptoms as an acquaintance suggested!)

If you're considering NIPT, just go direct for harmony testing

NimbleKnitter Tue 23-Jan-18 23:08:46

We went harmony. The trouble with doing the NT first is you get a semi-scary result first, which is usually followed up with a non-scary result.

So why put yourself through the anxiety of a semi-scary result?

And if the tests do pick up on something, better to have the result sooner.

We still had our dating scan, but we didn't need the NT/bloods as sonographer said harmony more accurate and would be confusing (plus no need to waste nhs money on unnecessary blood test)

hopingandprayingthistime Wed 24-Jan-18 12:50:15

Thanks for all the replies. We’ve decided to do Harmony.

hopingandprayingthistime Fri 26-Jan-18 09:11:24

Just to update you all - I went for stage 1 of the harmony test yesterday at FMC. I can’t recommend it highly enough. A really good experience. They do a scan and take the bloods and explain everything. They were very kind to me and I feel as reassured as it’s possible to be so far. Just hoping of course that the results in two weeks’ time are okay.

Thanks for all your replies.

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