If you are pregnant, it is guaranteed that you will constantly worry about the health of the baby inside you. While it is true that some women forego prenatal screening, this should not be the same for you. Prenatal screening is actually considered to be an essential part of pregnancy, as this process will help you determine if there are any possible abnormalities that your child may have. Thanks to prenatal tests, parents can be well-prepared for any difficulties they may face in the future.
The Nuchal Translucency or the 12 Week Scan is the traditional prenatal screening test. This has been used for many years, as it has a predictive value amounting to 92 percent. However, the remaining 8 percent still leaves room for doubt for many parents-to-be. This is why they opt to undergo more precise tests including amniocentesis or the chorion villous sampling (CVS). The disadvantage to these more accurate tests is that they are invasive and they come with a 1 in 100 miscarriage risk.
Fortunately, much thanks to the doctors and expert researchers at the Kings College London, there is now a simple type of blood test available that has the potential of saving the lives of many unborn children as well as babies every year. Ariosa Diagnostics, an American firm, is the one responsible for developing this test, which they call the Harmony Test. Extensive screening followed its development and Dr. Kypros Nicolaides, the specialist who came up with the Nuchal Fold Testing and who is considered to be the leader in the foetal medicine industry, gave it a thumbs up.
A Quick Overview on the Harmony Test
The Harmony Test is designed to be a screening process for the medical condition called Down’s syndrome. In addition to this, the test can also determine other unusual chromosomal abnormalities in unborn babies, including the Patau Syndrome and the Edwards Syndrome.
One of the main reasons as to why many pregnant women are highly advised to undergo this test is because of the fact that Down’s syndrome can negatively impact the life of a child significantly. This medical condition can result in moderate to much more serious learning disabilities. It has also been linked not only to vision and hearing problems but to cardiovascular conditions as well.
The Patau syndrome and the Edwards syndrome, on the other hand, have long since been associated with extremely high rates and risks of miscarriages. Babies who have been born with either of these conditions suffer from very serious brain defects as well as other birth defects. Many of them also suffer from various types of heart conditions. In fact, the Patau syndrome and the Edwards syndrome are so dangerous, that babies who are affected by either of them either die before they are born or die soon after they have been born.