The Harmony test during pregnancy

There’s a long a list of health screens and tests that can and should be performed on expectant mothers and their unborn babies to monitor their health, but wouldn’t it be wonderful if there was just one blood test that could tell you everything you needed to know? Well, the dream is not far off from the future reality, says Dr Puzey, specialist gynaecologist and obstetrician at Mediclinic Cape Town.

What is the Harmony test?
It’s a relatively new pre-natal, once-off blood test performed on expectant mothers. It can determine the genetic make-up of your unborn baby as early as 10 weeks into your pregnancy.

How does it work?
Every mother, during and even post pregnancy has fragments of her children’s DNA floating about in her bloodstream. By isolating and testing this DNA, pathologists can answer certain genetic questions for instance, around the sex of the baby or the presence of chromosomal abnormalities like Down’s syndrome.

Where can I have it done?
In overseas countries such as the United States and Canada, but it is not yet available in South Africa. Dr Puzey is at present trying to educate local pathologists about its accuracy and authenticity so that South African mothers-to-be can also enjoy the benefits.

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