Thursday, 17 April 2014

Guest Post: The Harmony Test

A harmony test is a non-invasive way of accurately fetus determining the risk of your baby having Down Syndrome. 
Whilst most babies are born without problems, about 1 in 700 babies will be born with Down Syndrome.  This is a genetic condition caused by an imbalance of hormones. Each of us are born with 46 chromosomes, 23 from our mother and 23 from our father, however a person with Down Syndrome has 47 chromosomes, specifically they have an extra copy of chromosome 21. 
This causes a genetic imbalance that leads to a variable amount of physical disabilities and learning difficulties.

Why opt for a Harmony Test?

The simple and safe Harmony test is able to measure the fetal cells present in the mother’s blood to produce a 99% accurate screening result for Down Syndrome.

For some, knowing that the baby has Down Syndrome will have no effect on whether to continue with the pregnancy or not, however it will allow them to mentally prepare to have a baby with this condition. Parents will be able to read up on information regarding raising a baby with Down Syndrome and learn more about the genetic disorder. This will give them insight into what to expect such as the practical challenges that will arise as well as the emotional impact on not only themselves but their surrounding family.

On the other hand, others will choose not to continue with the pregnancy after learning that their baby has Down Syndrome. This is not in any way an easy decision for a couple to make and whilst it may seem unfair on the unborn fetus, the decision is completely personal.  The parents may not feel that they are psychologically cut out for a life filled with not only mental disabilities, but emotional ones too. Choosing to end a pregnancy due to Down Syndrome will still be a heart-breaking one regardless of the decision being their own.

Before having to making either of these decisions, it is important to be completely sure that the fetus has this condition. Until recently, the combined first trimester screening test, also known as the nuchal scan, was the most accurate way of determining the risk of having a baby with Down Syndrome, identifying about 95% of affected babies as being at high-risk. This means that 5% of affected babies will be given a low-risk result and may go undetected. Additionally, about 3% of babies unaffected by Down Syndrome will be given a high-risk result. The Harmony test is able to identify 99% of the affected babies as high-risk, and report less than 1% of unaffected babies as high-risk.

This advanced screening test surpasses the nuchal, quadruple or integrated test due to its accuracy and is able to offer peace of mind after a non-reassuring or missed 12 week scan.

*This is a sponsored post

Author: If you would like reassurance on the normality of your pregnancy, the Harmony test is for you. The London Ultrasound Centre offers this safe, non-invasive test from 10 weeks gestation. Call 020 7908 3878 to book an appointment today and receive expert care and support from the team of professionals on hand.

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