How Does the Non-Invasive Prenatal Harmony Test Work?

The Harmony test is one of the options for NIPT at The Birth Company. We also provide the Panorama and SAFE tests. All three types of NIPT work in the same way. Here is a simple guide to help you to understand how these types of screening tests are performed.

Discuss the Options

It’s important to understand what NIPT involves, what the results could reveal, and which type of NIPT is right for you before you have the Harmony test, Panorama test or SAFE test during pregnancy. You should learn more about the options and talk to one of our experienced team members so that you can make informed choices.

The Blood Test

The Harmony test is a blood test. Two small sample tubes of blood will be filled from a blood vessel, usually near your inner elbow. The samples will then be sent straight to the genetics lab for testing.

Extracting the DNA Fragments

When the blood sample arrives at the lab, it will be processed to extract the fragments of cell free DNA. Cell free DNA is present in everyone’s blood, but when you are pregnant some of this DNA comes from the placenta (which is genetically identical to your baby).

The cell free DNA will be taken out of the blood sample and examined using the latest techniques. The most important part of the process is identifying which chromosome each of the DNA fragments belong too. We usually have 23 pairs of chromosomes, which are referred to by a number from 1-22 or as the X and Y (sex) chromosomes. However, in some cases when a sperm or egg cell is produced. If these cells form an embryo, this can cause conditions such as Down’s syndrome, Edward’s syndrome and Patau’s syndrome.

Analysing the Data

The results will be carefully analysed to see if your baby is carrying an extra copy of a particular chromosome. By comparing the amounts of DNA fragments from different pairs of chromosomes, it is possible to tell if there are more than expected from a particular chromosome. For example, if there are a lot more fragments from chromosome 21 than from the other chromosomes, this indicates that the baby is likely to be carrying an extra copy of this chromosome and therefore is at higher probability of Down’s syndrome.

Your Harmony Test Results

It usually takes between 3 to 10 days to get your Harmony test results back. The results will tell you if your baby is at higher or lower probability of each of the conditions that were screened for. If all our test results are low probability, then your baby is very unlikely to be affected. However, if you receive a high probability result for any of the conditions then it is important to talk to a doctor or genetic counsellor. You may want to arrange further, invasive tests to confirm the diagnosis.

Clinic Locations

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137 Harley Street,
London W1G 6BF

Nearest Underground Tube Stations

Baker Street
Regent’s Park
Great Portland Street

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Alderley Edge Medical Centre, Talbot Road, Alderley Edge,
Cheshire, SK9 7HR

Nearest Overground Train Station Alderley Edge

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Harley Street, London

The Birth Company
137 Harley Street

020 7725 0528

Harley Street, London Opening Times

Mon 08:00 - 20:00
Tue 08:00 - 20:00
Wed 08:00 - 20:00
Thu 08:00 - 20:00
Fri 08:00 - 18:00
Sat 09:00 - 16:00
Sun 10:00 - 14:00

Alderley Edge, Cheshire

The Birth Company
Alderley Edge Medical Centre,
Talbot Road,
Alderley Edge

016 2570 4080

Alderley Edge, Cheshire Opening Times

Mon 09:00 - 17:00
Tue 09:00 - 17:00
Wed 09:00 - 17:00
Thu 09:00 - 17:00
Fri 09:00 - 17:00
Sat Closed
Sun Closed
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