Harmony Test

(31 Posts)
worriedmum100 Mon 09-Feb-15 10:34:11

I'm currently 7 weeks pregnant. I'm also 39. It's been suggested that we might want to have the Harmony test. I think I understand why this is better than the NHS nuchal test but would really value hearing other people's experience/opinions. In particular, would it be a sensible approach to have the NHS test and then, if the result is bad, have the Harmony to get a more definitive result before deciding whether to have the more invasive procedures?

Many thanks

OP’s posts: |
Zahrah5 Mon 09-Feb-15 10:47:11


I had all possible tests done (as coincidence).
Harmony - at 10 weeks, results by 12w 1:10 000
Private nuchal- 1:4 000
NHS quad test came to 1:340- this would be too high risk for me should I rely on NHS testing only

It all depends what risk number will do for you, you can live with in peace for rest of your pregnancy.

We went for the package at FMC (in London) where Harmony done at 10w is cheaper and includes early viability scan and nuchal scan than Harmony done later- after 12w.
Since I definitelly wanted to have private early scan (I could not wait until 14w when I had my first NHS scan appt) and I did not trust NHS nuchal (good think I didnt) it was ony a little brainer for me.

money best ever spend. I am very anxious normally and the package at FMC helped me to get my mind in peace.

sianihedgehog Mon 09-Feb-15 11:01:27

Hi there, I'm 37 and have just had the Harmony test. There are two major benefits over the NHS tests: firstly that it's WAY more accurate, and second that you get results much sooner. For downs the Harmony test is almost as accurate as amnio or cvs.
I had a package at the Fetal Medicine Centre which includes both all the tests the NHS does and the Harmony test, with results at 12wks. They broke down how the risk is worked out with each method. Just on age etc my risk was about 1:130. With the NHS bloods it dropped to 1:300. With NHS bloods, and nuchal scan, it dropped to 1:3000. And the Harmony test gave me a risk less than 1:10000.

The real question to ask is what you would do if your foetus did have downs. I had decided on termination, so finding out very early was very important to me. I'd also suffered a previous miscarriage, so the risk of miscarriage associated with cvs and amnio wasn't something I wanted to take unnecessary chances with.

If you would do nothing differently if you DID get a downs, Edwards, or Patou diagnosis, there's no point in paying for Harmony or having CVS or amnio. If it would change your choices, Harmony is well worth the money.

Sonoma Mon 09-Feb-15 11:49:53

It's worth bearing in mind that the FMC nuchal is better than the NHS one as well (they check for more markers) unless you are fortunate enough to be at Kings. Harmony well worth it in my view.

TinyTear Mon 09-Feb-15 11:54:50

I did it at the FMC as well, at 10w...

I am 41 and have recurrent miscarriage issues, so wanted a 10w scan as the NHS discharged me after the 8w scan until 12w and I needed one more for my peace of mind.

My NHS bloods and nuchal came to 1:980 and the harmony 1:10000 so happy with that.
Also found out it's a girl straight away at 12w...

ChickenMe Mon 09-Feb-15 12:30:48

Some health authorities-Medway, UCH and one other in London which escapes me - are offering Harmony free for anyone who gets a higher risk than 1:2500. Just in case you fall under one of these..
Not an expert but at 38 my background risk was quite high but with the NT and bloods it went down to 1:600. But I had my 12w scan at 11+4. The harmony test results came back two weeks after that-we were really lucky because we had the results at 14w. They texted us with the results which was really good.
What to bear in mind is timescales as in, if you would consider terminating for trisomies and say your 12w scan is later rather than sooner and then you have to go private for Harmony, then wait for results.. I suppose the longer it goes on the more heart-wrenching a decision it is. Not that it is ever easy. 2BH I don't know what I would've done had the Harmony not come back low risk.
For instance, if a Harmony result came back positive for a trisomy would that then trigger an amnio or CVS to be totally certain? Thus taking more time?
I hadn't heard of Harmony at the 12w scan but if I had heard of it and it wasn't free I probably would have booked it in advance privately. You can still have your 12w scan on NHS anyway and hopefully see more of your baby.
Hope all goes ok.

Chookford Mon 09-Feb-15 12:38:50

hi worried I fall under Medway so as chicken said we were offered the Harmony test for free after a raised nuchal measurement at our 12 week scan.. odds after that scan put me at 1/89 risk of downs so really quite high other trisomys ruled out.. had the Harmony test the next day and waited 8 days for the results my new risk came out as 1/10,000 so was over the moon with that, had subsequesnt tests and scans since then (im now 25wks) and baby is pefectly healthy.. so again as chicken said it does all depend on what you would choose would something be discovered etc, hope it all goes well for you...


TwoLittleTerrors Mon 09-Feb-15 12:39:37

Going against the grain here. I was 39 when I got pregnant with DD2. I didn't have the harmony or any private scans. I think we made up or minds that if the NHS combined down screen test came back at 1:250 or 1:300 (can't remember exactly) we will go for a second opinion with the harmony. It came back at something over 1000.

To me it's just a matter of money. I had two miscarriages before DD2 and I didn't have reassurance scans. I just can't afford it so it feels an extravagant thing to do. It all depends in the end if you the money spent is worth it. It is better than the NHS ones definitely.

TwoLittleTerrors Mon 09-Feb-15 12:42:02

Also we decided at that point that If CVS is offered we would take it. It's only the range of odds that is higher than the NHS cut off but worse than what we are comfortable with we would consider the harmineyZ

LorelaiVictoriaGilmore Mon 09-Feb-15 13:51:08

I'm 30 and 11+2 with my first and I've got my harmony test booked for Thursday at the FMC and then my NHS 12 week scan booked for Friday. I'm not sure what I'd do (if anything) if my results aren't good, but I just want to have as much information as I possibly can.

MissTwister Mon 09-Feb-15 15:17:11

I had harmony and 12 week scan at Fetal Medical Centre - it was fantastic and worth every penny.

On having the NHS tests and then waiting to decide - all I will say is that the 2 week wait for the Harmony result was excruciating as it was and if I had had a poor NHS result prior to that I think I would have gone insane!

Plus there are practical reasons not to wait - if you did decide you were to have a termination if there was a chromosone problem then an extra 2-3 weeks to get the NHS result, arrange for the Harmony test and wait for those results would mean you would much further along obviously.

worriedmum100 Mon 09-Feb-15 16:56:15

Thanks everyone

I've got a complicated history. 2 miscarriages last year (including one MMC). I also had years of infertility after having DS due to undiagnosed endometriosis . I also have Ashermans as a result of two ERPCs following my last miscarriage. So you could say I'm very anxious about this pregnancy!

I had a private 6 week viability scan at 92 Harley Street which is the practice of the consultant I was seeing for my Ashermans. They suggested a 9/10 week scan combined with the Harmony.

However I think I could get a 9 week NHS scan due to my history. So my thinking based on all your advice would be to have an NHS 9 week scan, then have harmony then have NHS nuchal. Does that sound sensible? I think Harmony at my current clinic is about £500.

Do you mind if I ask the cost of the package mentioned at FMC?

Sadly I'm not in an area to get the Harmony on the NHS.

OP’s posts: |
Zahrah5 Mon 09-Feb-15 17:25:57

The Harmony package at FMC cost is 400- if you book at 10w.

it includes 2 scans- early viability and nuchal + nuchal bloods.

From what you wrote you dont need the 9w NHS scan if you take the package as well as you dont need the NHS nuchal, unless you want a pleasure of looking at your baby again.

The nuchal scan at FMC as part of the package is much much MUCH more detailed and looks at other soft markers for trisomies as well as some anathomy, they check vital organs so less worry for you for 20w scan.

If you book Harmony later than 10w then it costs 500 and not so sure which scans are included.

worriedmum100 Mon 09-Feb-15 18:30:00

Thanks for the info. I'm definitely leaning towards the FMC package. I'm happy to look at the baby lots! Although I'm a bit worried about using NHS resources if I don't need to.

OP’s posts: |
TinyTear Mon 09-Feb-15 18:37:40

Agreed, at the 20w scan this one wasn't budging so I had to go back to see more things but I wasn't worried as at the FMC they had been really detailed on their 12w scan

chicarubia Tue 10-Feb-15 01:12:28

I am 39 too (currently 23 weeks pregnant with my first). I also had a really positive experience with the FMC and the Harmony test at 10 weeks. Because I had ultra detailed scans with them at 10 and 12 weeks, I didn't have my NHS 12 week scan (I would rather not have extra scans if I can avoid it, as although I like seeing the baby I'm a bit worried by some of the research about multiple scans and potential effects - although I'm sure they are low, I would rather avoid them where possible).

The FMC are a charitable foundation, I believe, and charge less than most private clinics but provide a brilliant service so I would definitely recommend choosing there if you go for Harmony. I knew that the NHS risk assessment would not set my mind at rest however low it was, whereas the Harmony did. It was the best £400 I've ever spent! Plus it was great for us to find out the gender really early although I know not everyone wants to.

Good luck!

Pico2 Tue 10-Feb-15 01:26:26

We had the FMC harmony package. Their scanning equipment is great and our 12 week scan was very thorough. We didn't do the NHS scan/bloods.

There is a similar test to the harmony that looks for more things, but I can't remember the name of it.

HaveYouTriedARewardChart Tue 10-Feb-15 01:45:32

The timing is a big consideration. I had 1:37 results at my NHS scan at 13 weeks and then had a two week wait for harmony results which was a pretty awful wait.
Had harmony on the nhs but also had another scan at the private clinic which is attached to the FMC on Harley st, which was great.
Good luck with your pregnancy smile

worriedmum100 Tue 10-Feb-15 07:30:18

Thanks so much everyone. We've decided to go for the FMC package so I'll give them a call today. Will have to think about whether to have NHS scan /nuchal as well.

OP’s posts: |
sianihedgehog Tue 10-Feb-15 11:07:48

Hi worriedmum100, I spoke to my midwife and the NHS sonographer about the waste of NHS resources, and I ended up having a dating and viability scan on the NHS at 12 wks as they like to have the information for their records, but not having the nuchal scan bit done, as this saves the NHS about £150. The FMC give you a copy of your results, which you can include in your notes so the NHS have access.

MissTwister Tue 10-Feb-15 13:36:04

FMC should do referral discounts - we're always singing their praises on here!

cloudjumper Tue 10-Feb-15 13:48:45

Please bear in mind that in some cases, the Harmony test doesn't work. It's a seemingly low proportion, but it does happen - there were a lot of other women on the thread I was on at the time for whom the test didn't work
I had repeated twice, and they were not able to isolate enough fetal DNA from my blood to do the test. I got a very high risk for Down's from my combined NHS test (which was confirmed at the FMC), and the extra wait, only to be told again that there were no results, was nothing I ever want to go through again, it was excruciating. Might be worth having a back-up plan, just in case...

I also didn't think that the scans at the FMC were of any better quality than the one we had on the NHS... Whereas I generally found the NHS sonographers a lot more friendly, sympathetic and patient-orientated than the rather aloof and distant FMC staff.

TinyTear Tue 10-Feb-15 13:53:30

The sonographer I had in my 10w scan at the FMC was very abrupt and very off and even rude at times. Someone else on my April board had the same woman 2 weeks later and had the same opinion as me... She was too fixated on my BMI, seemed quite put out to have to do an internal scan and I didn't like her...

But then, truth be said the man I had scanning me later on the 12w scan was amazing and explained every single thing he was doing and was really friendly and helpful

sianihedgehog Tue 10-Feb-15 15:40:07

I found both my FMC and NHS sonographers lovely! I had two different young eastern European women at the FMC, who both seemed a bit shy at first, but relaxed and were very friendly after I made a few jokes. Both impossibly slim and glamorous, I felt like a partly deflated balloon alongside! The NHS lady was an older, matronly lady who seemed very angry that I was having the Harmony test privately but did say that it seems very accurate. She was much nicer after I told her to tear up my NHS nuchal scan form and just do a dating scan - my MW had sent it off before I booked.
I found the NHS scan lady seemed to explain much more of what she was looking at, but she also was definitely having an easier time looking than the FMC ladies, as wee baby was thrashing about wildly and refusing to get into a remotely sensible position at the FMC, and they were trying to do incredibly fiddly stuff like check blood flow in impossibly tiny arteries.

worriedmum100 Tue 10-Feb-15 15:44:29

Thanks everyone. Have booked for the harmony/nuchal package at the FMC. Still undecided re NHS nuchal. Need to discuss with DP. Thanks for all the feedback. It's very helpful.

OP’s posts: |

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