The Harmony Test is a non-invasive prenatal test (NIPT) that analyses fragments of your baby’s DNA in a sample of your blood to assess the risk of trisomy 21 (Down Syndrome), trisomy 18 (Edward Syndrome), trisomy 13 (Patau Syndrome) as well as X and Y chromosome abnormalities like Turner and Klinefelter syndromes. As this test can also evaluate X and Y sex chromosomes you can learn the gender of your baby if you wish*. This relatively new test is more accurate than traditional screening tests and can be performed as early at 10 weeks.
*Some information is only available for singleton pregnancies. Multiple pregnancies (twins, triplets, etc) confound some of these factors. Your doctor can discuss this with you if applicable.
When you arrive for your appointment, after completing some paperwork, you will be taken into the ultrasound room for a scan. You will need to come prepared for this test and by ‘prepared’, we mean ‘with a full bladder’. One hour before your appointment time, empty your bladder then drink 750mL of water and hold on. If you get to a stage where you feel ready to burst you can of course partially empty your bladder so you are more comfortable, but do your best not to empty completely. Easier said than done, we know! Having a full bladder is important for a transabdominal ultrasound of the pelvis as it allows the soundwaves to travel through the fluid in your bladder towards the uterus. When the bladder is not full, visualising and pelvic organs and any small pregnancy is exceedingly difficult and sometimes impossible.
In some cases, the sonographer may need to perform an internal ultrasound. This may be due to the position of your uterus or if your bladder isn’t filled adequately. If this is necessary, the sonographer will explain the procedure to you clearly and why you need it. You can read more about the internal ultrasound here.
The ultrasound scan is performed before you see the doctor and get the blood test. This is to check if the baby is alive and to obtain an estimated age and due date.
During the ultrasound scan, either internally or externally, the sonographer will confirm the location and number of babies you have. They will be measured and checked to see if they are growing concordant with your expected dates. Depending on the stage of your pregnancy, varying amounts of anatomy will be developed and visible.
All possible anatomy relevant for the age of your baby will be checked and documented. The sonographer will also assess your cervix, uterus, pelvis and the placenta.
You will be given a small printed image of your baby and all of your images will be saved as jpg files onto a CD for you to take home. The sonographer will discuss her findings with you and an official report will be emailed to you, and your referring doctor if applicable, later in the day. Your ultrasound is likely to take approximately 15-20 minutes.
After your ultrasound scan, our GP will consult with you and take your blood for the Harmony Test. The results will be emailed to you between 3-5 days later.
The total appointment time for your Harmony Test and Ultrasound Scan is approximately 45 minutes.