Antenatal Tests

There are a number of different antenatal tests to confirm that the pregnancy and baby is progressing well.    We perform some of these tests in-house during your consultation or in the case of specialist tests we partner wth the Fetal Medicine Centre.

Ultrasound Scans

Ultrasound scan is the commonest way to check on your baby during pregnancy. It allows you to see the exact location, number of babies, baby’s growth as well as being able to date the pregnancy.  Very importantly the mother is also reassured that the pregnancy is progressing normally.

Our consultants, Mrs Pisal and Ms Flemming are expert early pregnancy sonographers and will provide an ultrasound within the consultation so that they can check on the baby.

We offer one off scans as required as well as weekly / fortnightly scans within our early pregnancy packages.

Harmony Test

The Harmony Test is a relatively new test that analyses the fetal DNA from the blood sample taken from the mother testing for common chromosomal abnormalities.

Harmony Test has been well received by the medical industry for having high detection rates and low false positives. NICE recently approved it for the NHS, however implementation is likely to take around two years before it is commonly offered.

We usually undertake the test for our patients at 10 weeks and we partner with the world renowned Fetal Medicine Centre, Harley Street.

What does the Harmony Test test for?

In addition to common chromosomal abnormalities such as T21 (Down’s syndrome), T13 (Patau’s syndrome), T18 (Edward’s syndrome), this test can also detect certain specific and known genetic conditions as well as fetal sex.

At what point in pregnancy does the test happen?

The blood test can be undertaken from 10 weeks gestation, the results are usually available within 2 weeks from date of taking the blood sample.

What are the detection rates of Harmony Test?

Harmony Test has very high detection rates (99% detection rate for fetuses with T21, 97% of fetuses with T18 and 92% of fetuses with T13) and for the low false positive rates which reduce the need for unnecessary invasive tests which can put the pregnancy at risk.


Nuchal Translucency

The nuchal translucency is a collection of fluid behind baby’s neck that can be see on ultrasound scan.

What is nuchal translucency test?

A nuchal translucency test is a specialist ultrasound scan that measures this layer of fluid behind thin layer at a key point of time in the pregnancy.  It is commonly carried out with a hormonal blood test on the mother to give a combined result indicating the baby’s risk of having certain chromosomal conditions (such as Down’s Syndrome) and some heart abnormalities

When is the nuchal translucency undertaken?

The nuchal translucency is undertaken between 11+2 weeks to 13+6 weeks of gestation.  All our nuchal translucency tests are carried out by the Fetal Medicine Centre, Harley Street.

What are the risks of the test?

There are no known risks of completing the test however it is important to remember that this is a screening test and can be falsely positive or falsely negative. Further diagnostic tests such as CVS or amniocentesis may be needed for further assessment.


CVS & Amniocentesis

In some cases, usually when a specific gene disorder is suspected, an invasive test may be advised in order to check the fetal chromosomes.  In these situations there are two options available to the mother:

CVS:  This test involves taking a biopsy (tissue sample) from the placenta to ascertain the fetal chromosomes, because the chromosomes in the placenta are the same as the baby.  This test is usually undertaken at 11-13 weeks gestation and a result is available within 2 weeks.

Amniocentesis:  This involves aspirating a small amount of amniotic fluid from around the baby.  This test is usually performed at 14-16 weeks and a result is available within 2 weeks.

Is there any risk with CVS or amniocentesis?

Both tests carry approximately a 1% risk of miscarriage and so undertaking these tests is usually a great consideration for the parents.

We undertake the CVS and amniocentesis in conjunction with the world renowned the Fetal Medicine Centre, Harley Street.